Christina’s visit in late March was highly successful. Our thanks to Business NZ for inviting Christina to attend the Asia Pacific Energy Leaders Summit, which enabled us to also have access to Christina following this event. Christina generated a huge amount of media coverage during her NZ visit and created a lot of discussion around EV’s – here are some highlights:
- “Pricing of cars key to get Kiwis into electric vehicles, says expert” TVNZ Breakfast, Tuesday 22nd March
- “Christina Bu:electric vehicles in Norway”, RadioNZ Saturday Morning with Kim Hill, Saturday 26th March,
- “Electric Cars need tax breaks – expert” by Grant Bradley, NZ Herald, Monday 14th March,
We almost achieved a full house at our evening event with Christina, hosted by Westpac in Auckland. She delivered a very engaging presentation and overview of the Norwegian success story with EV’s, and fielded some great questions from the floor. Please see the Drive Electric website for her full presentation and further information links [insert link].
We sincerely thank Westpac Banking Group; SG Fleet and efu Investments for contributing to and making this a successful undertaking. I also wish to thank all members and friends of members that attended, and especially those that paid extra to enjoy a private dinner with Christina – both nights exceeded our expectations.
There were four key points I took out of Christina’s comments:
- Our two countries tax quite differently- NZ with an open and deregulated economy and low taxation (only tax on car imports is GST); whereas Norway is a more closed economy, sits outside the EU system, has high personal and company taxes and an extraordinary high tax regime on automobiles, that they use to change purchase decisions.
- That EV sales came first, and charging infrastructure came second- in fact its still developing at this time. In NZ with Chargenet, Northpower and Vector, along with many other lines companies, rolling out fast charging; and having camping ground and other businesses offering standard charging, NZ is in the enviable position of not having to wait for charging infrastructure- but we do have to wait for the automotive OEMs to bring cars to market. Perhaps the Tesla announcement might change this?
- That the average wage in Norway is much greater than it is in NZ, so EV pricing is appealing and with the combination of incentives and disincentives makes buying an EV a no brainer. Access in NZ may be stimulated via used car import momentum, as it delivers a lower entry point and with a lower total cost of ownership may stimulate overall demand.
- Norway has had a clear direction, top down, and have developed a road map and are implementing it- the success of EV’s in this country is planned- it isn’t an accident.