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EV owners love their cars

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Nearly all of New Zealand’s current EV owners will buy electric again - for them there is no turning back.

This is the main conclusion of this month’s survey by Flip the Fleet, a citizen science coalition of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners from throughout New Zealand that upload data from their vehicles to a communal database each month.

Ninety-one percent of 276 electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid owners said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ buy electric if they ever bought another car. A further 7% were unsure, and just 2% were unlikely to buy another electric vehicle - mainly because they want to retain a mix of electric and conventional vehicles at home for maximising flexibility, towing etc. Many families transfer most of their local running to an EV to save money and benefit the environment, but they retain a conventional vehicle for long range trips or specialist jobs.

"Asking whether an EV owner would make the same choice again is the acid test of whether they work for New Zealanders in their everyday lives" said Martin Kane, a spokesperson for Flip the Fleet who owns two EVs. "Our latest survey shows that 9 out of every 10 current owners love their cars".

So why are EV owners so enthusiastic about their electric cars and moving away from fossil fuel powered transport?

Over a quarter of the respondents highlighted cost and affordability as their primary reason for going electric with one commenting, "With solar power installed I would not consider anything but fully electric at less than 1 cent per Km!". Another mentioned "After buying one (an EV) I would not go back to ICE vehicle due to lower running costs. The longer I use it, the more I love it". Flip the Fleet data indicates that it is on average 5 times cheaper to ‘fuel’ an EV with electricity (4c/km- without solar) compared to paying for petrol or diesel in a similar sized combustion vehicle (20c/km).

Other respondents indicated that they would continue purchasing EVs out of concern for the environment.

"Doing their bit for the planet makes the owners feel good. It’s a practical contribution that many families and small businesses can take" said Mr Kane.

A recent Bloomberg Finance report illustrates how each new EV displaces roughly 15 barrels of oil (2400 litres) per year from global oil demand. In New Zealand, this offers us a major opportunity to shift away from imported polluting energy and support our growing local renewable energy sector and economy.

A quarter of the survey respondents indicated that they were happy with the technology in their current EVs and that they are excited about advances that would be available when they purchase their next EV. New Zealand’s charging infrastructure is already good enough for many long-distance routes and is rapidly improving. One respondent said "The gap between EVs and conventional cars is closing fast. EVs outperform Petrol and Diesel cars in every way, except range. Range is being addressed with fast charging and longer range EVs".

Flip the Fleet is a citizen science project that provides scientifically reliable information on the benefits and constraints of electric vehicles in New Zealand. The project is partly funded the Flip the Fleet team with additional funding received from the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund round three.

Participation is free and all New Zealand’s electric vehicle owners can enrol at www.flipthefleet.org

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