Feature article

Buyer interest in EVs continues to grow

The impact of clean car discounts three months in.

EVs are the talk of the town. The rising cost of living and people’s wallets taking a hit at the fuel pumps, paired with the clean car discounts have set the stage for the EV market.

Let's dive into buyer behaviour

March was a big month for listing and watchlist activity when compared to February. This massive increase month-on-month looks to be a result of information coming out in March regarding the clean car discounts on Rightcar. Data from the Motor Industry Association (MIA) also shows that Kiwis bought 1,716 EVs in March compared to the year before which saw 430 EVs sold. A huge month for EVs.

Across the board, we can see that EV listings are growing at the fastest rate when compared to all other vehicle types. It appears that Kiwis are prioritising lowering their carbon footprint and saving money at the pump as fuel prices rise.

Buyer demand appears to be impacting supply*
MonthEV Listings MoMAvg Listings MoM

*Trade Me site data collected from March - July, 2022, comparing EV listings and total listings month on month.

We look forward to seeing what the next five months look like for EVs as listings for July pick up from June. New models being brought to our shores will have a big impact on how Kiwis decide what vehicle to buy.

Top 5 EV models listed on Trade Me

Nissan Leaf on top

The Nissan Leaf remains top of the table by a long shot for EVs with a total of 679 units listed since March. It also comes in at a more accessible price point - averaging $28k in the past five months, and having had more time in the market.

Tesla’s popularity overseas looks to have arrived on our shores with listings for the Model 3 increasing. However, with 23 units listed onsite and at a slightly higher average listing price of $68k for the past five months, there's plenty of room to grow.

BMW’s i3 comes in at third place with 15 units listed, and an average price of $34k. Kia’s Niro, and Hyundai’s Kona close out our top five EVs listed on site with 13 and 11 units respectively. Their price points also come in significantly higher than the Leaf at $70k for the Niro and $67k for the Kona.

How EVs stack up across the country

We’re continuing to see higher regional EV popularity scores* across our main city centres. Cities lead the way with adoption and play to EV’s strengths due to their current range limitations, charging infrastructure, and different vehicle requirements compared to other regions. The top 10 EVs on site are seeing the following popularity scores:

Wellington: +29.1%

Auckland: +15.9%

Christchurch: +6.5%

An area to watch is how the introduction of EV utes in the not too distant future will impact uptake in the regions due to different vehicle requirements.

The implementation of the clean car standard, due from January 1, 2023, will be the next step for the industry. New, tougher, emissions targets for imported vehicles may have more Kiwis looking to electrify their future.

*Compared to overall watchlist activity.