Friday, December 03, 2021

Incentives work again

Back in July the government introduced an incentive scheme for electric vehicles. So how's it going? While the official statistics aren't in yet, Stuff seems to have got them, and they look pretty good:

The November sales figures are in, and battery electric vehicles are closing in on the 1000-per-month registration milestone. That’s largely because Tesla received two big shipments over the course of two months, but it shows that Kiwis are increasingly looking to electric power.

There were 947 BEVs registered over the month, along with 432 plug-in hybrids and 1462 hybrids, meaning 17 per cent of the monthly new car fleet was electrified to some degree.

The EV fleet statistics track BEVs and plug-in hybrids, so the relevant number here is 1379. Which compares very nicely with the 1071 EVs registered last month, or the 652 on average in the first six months of the year. So it looks like the policy has basicly doubled uptake.

Is it enough? Not yet. RNZ recently reported on the scale of change required to meet our climate budgets, and the immediate goal for EVs was 10% of new light vehicles by 2025. Currently we seem to be sitting on ~8% (from the Stuff article), which isn't quite there yet. But the stick side of the incentive - a fee for dirty vehicles - doesn't kick in until next year, and that should change things a bit. So while we can't mark this one as "achieved" yet, it at least looks like a real possibility.

The real challenge will be in the next budget period, when we'll need 62% of all light vehicles entering NZ to be electric. By that stage the prices should have crossed over - meaning EVs will be cheaper than dirty vehicles - and car buyers will be staring down the barrel of a ban on new fossil imports (meaning potentially a lack of spares and possible problems with fuel availability for fossil cars in the long term). But it still looks like a very intimidating target.