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Pictured above: Drive Electric board members Dean Sheed (far right) and Michelle Herlihy were on a panel discussing EVs at the Financial Services Federation’s conference alongside Oscar Ellison (far left), chief executive of car-sharing company YourDrive and lawyer and leading driverless cars researcher Michael Cameron.
Photo by ro0m Photographics

Electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and car-sharing are set to disrupt how the finance and insurance sector operates, Drive Electric’s experts say.

The EV advocacy group’s board members Dean Sheed and Michelle Herlihy spoke on a panel at the Financial Services Federation’s conference this week, offering information and advice to the F&I sector about the new technologies.

Sheed is urging the industry to learn more about EVs, AVs and car-sharing, which will eventually have an effect on the current vehicle ownership model.

“Long-term, a change in the vehicle ownership model means finance and insurance companies will likely be providing more services to companies that own cars for hire, alongside individual owners,” Sheed, who is also Audi NZ general manager, says.

“In terms of electric vehicles right now, what they can offer their customers is about to be enhanced at both ends of the market. In 2019 we’ll be on the cusp of a turning point with more models set to become available.

“The finance industry is an enabler for the trial and acceptance of EVs. It also has the biggest impact on uptake and generates good used cars in three years time.”

The new technologies provide challenges and opportunities that those in the finance and insurance sectors will have to get to grips with, Herlihy, who is also NZ country leader for Custom Fleet, says.

“If current F&I providers don’t understand the model and the changing risk profile, someone else is going to step into that space.

“There are ways of pulling everything together that will include EVs, AVs and car-sharing.

“It’s about how to develop strategies to leverage the changes that are happening.”

Sheed is encouraging F&I leaders to engage with Drive Electric via its website, social media channels or by becoming members in an effort to support the growth of EVs in New Zealand, which has just cracked the 10,000 mark.

“At the moment we’re making pretty good progress increasing the number of EVs, but there’s a lot more work to do.

“In New Zealand we don’t have duties or tariffs on vehicles like other countries, so the government doesn’t have that lever to pull when influencing the market.

“They’re currently looking at alternatives that will help the country reach the government’s goal of 64,000 EVs on the road by 2021.”

Editor’s notes:

  1. Car-sharing enables people to rent cars by the minute, hour or day from a company or other motorists. The concept is aimed at people that only require a car occasionally.
  2. Drive Electric is a not-for-profit group that includes many electricity, financial services/car leasing and transport industry leaders on its board. It has several functions, including undertaking research about issues affecting electric vehicles, lobbying the government to continue setting ambitious targets for electric vehicle uptake and helping educate the public and corporate sector about the benefits of EVs. Its goal is to mainstream EVs and achieve more energy independence over time.

Audi NZ general manager Dean Sheed 021 555 205 or
Custom Fleet NZ country lead Michelle Herlihy (09) 369 7880 or