Driving change – the push for cleaner, greener transport in New Zealand

Drive Electric has a simple goal: to make e-mobility mainstream in New Zealand to support a zero-emissions future. We promote e-mobility to the public, provide support and education to our members and advocate for policy change by the government.

Progress we’re proud of 

We’ve seen positive change already, with the government introducing the Clean Car Discount in July 2021, and extending the exemption on road user charges until 2024. These new incentives make it easier for consumers to buy EVs and signal that New Zealand is serious about making the switch to electric. Eventually, this will mean more EVs on the road and in the second-hand market, making them accessible to more drivers.  

The benefits are clear 

Lower emissions, lower energy use and reduced environmental impact over the life of the vehicle – the environmental positives of EVs are well known. In New Zealand, where 80% of our electricity comes from renewable sources, they’re even more beneficial. 

With new incentives for buyers, increasingly robust infrastructure and clear benefits for the planet, choosing an EV has never been easier or more affordable. 

Why NZ should be driving electric

EVs are the best option for the environment as an alternative to petrol or diesel-powered cars, but the benefits go beyond that – for individuals, companies and the country as a whole.

For New Zealand: 

  • Reduced emissions will lessen our impact on the environment and help us work towards climate targets. 
  • Uses our abundant renewable energy 
  • Lower spending on oil imports, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels 
  • Improved air quality, reducing sickness and death

For business: 

  • Switching fleets to electric will help corporations reduce their emissions and meet targets.
  • Lower running and maintenance costs mean that companies will save over time (only approx. 20 moving parts in an EV versus over 2000 in an ICE vehicle)
  • Create new opportunities for growth in EV sales and maintenance, and large scale investments in renewable electricity generation and  charging infrastructure.

For individuals: 

  • Reduced running costs and maintenance create cost savings. 
  • Fewer exhaust fumes make our environment more pleasant and improve health outcomes for children, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
  • Quieter cars make our cities, suburbs and rural areas more peaceful and enjoyable.
  • Convenient to charge at home 

Treading lightly – reducing our environmental footprint

Because we generate the bulk of our electricity from renewable sources, EVs are particularly valuable in New Zealand. As more New Zealanders make the switch, those benefits add up, which helps us reduce overall emissions and work towards our climate targets.  

Research shows that:

Spreading the word, and the experience

PlugIn is all about education. We want to dispel the myths and misconceptions about electric driving, and to give people the actual experience of driving an EV.

Creating a common goal

As a result of our successful Roundtable in 2014, Drive Electric will work collaboratively with executives from automotive and electricity industries and their government counterparts to create a roadmap with shared goals to the Government Stimulus Package. This roadmap will provide initiatives and clear steps to get us there.

Steering New Zealand towards positive change

Drive Electric has been around since 2011, and we’ve been involved with significant changes in the years since.  The organisation, originally known as APEV, received seed funding from efu Investments – The Fukutake family – and subsequently rebranded to Drive Electric, developing a new strategic plan in 2014.   

Here are some recent highlights:  

2020 – 2021

  • Held inaugural members’ event in Parliament, with Minister of Transport Hon Michael Wood hosting MPs from across the political spectrum
  • Supported the announcement of the Clean Car Standard (new emissions standard)
  • Hosted the Chair of the Climate Change Commission Rod Carr to engage with Drive Electric members
  • Engaged directly with the Climate Change Commission and the government on forming EV policy
  • Produced an EV Policy Discussion Document, to help shape thinking across parties before the 2020 election

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