Obstacles thwart New Zealand enthusiasm for electric cars: study

Obstacles thwart New Zealand enthusiasm for electric cars: study

New Zealanders, among the world' s highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, would consider driving electric cars so long as price and infrastructure barriers can be overcome, according to a study out Wednesday.

Only 660 EVs were registered in New Zealand as of May, showing uptake had been relatively slow, said University of Otago researcher Dr Rebecca Ford.

"EVs are far more cost-effective to run than cars that use diesel or petrol. The challenge is in overcoming the obstacles preventing many New Zealanders from making the switch," Ford said in a statement.

A survey found most New Zealanders felt positively about driving an EV, with most indicating they were willing or very willing to drive one in the future.

Thirty percent would likely or definitely buy an EV if the purchase price was the same as a petrol or diesel car, and another 40 per cent would consider a purchase under this scenario.

The price was the most important factor for people considering buying an EV, followed by vehicle range and charge time.

The age of the vehicle was least important, suggesting New Zealanders would be happy to buy second-hand EVs.

The study co-authors recommended government and commercial fleets buy EVs to generate a second-hand market in future.

They also suggested setting up charging stations at regular intervals on roads, with fast charging technologies, so drivers could be certain they would be able to get to their destination.

More education and demonstrations would increase consumer knowledge and awareness of EVs, they said.

"The threat is that we get left behind the rest of the world because we take up EVs too slowly. And that would be a pity, as we have plenty of renewable electricity to power them, and Kiwis are keen," said Ford.

Source: Intelligent Utility

SMART GRID Bulletin July 2017


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