The New Zealand electric vehicle market experienced its smallest gain in 12 months in March, and will likely experience an even sharper drop-off in April thanks to the Covid-19 lock-down.
New data released by the Department of Transport showed that 473 EVs – both full electric and plug in hybrid – were sold in March, down 15 per cent from the previous month, 20 per cent below January and less than half the peak of 1,010 in September last year when the Tesla Model 3 hit the local market.
The fall in EV sales in March is likely explained by the lock-down that was enforced two weeks ago, and took about 10 days of trading out of the market. It may also be partly explained by a drop off in imports from Japan.
Still, the New Zealand market did manage to reach an important milestone, with the total EV sales now above 20,000 and reaching 20,305 – with more than half of them (10,980) being used battery electric vehicles (BEV), and most of these Nissan Leafs imported from Japan, and just under one quarter new BEVs.
The rest are made up of new and used plug in hybrid EVs.
In the latest month, the sale of new BEVs actually rose from the previous two months, and was nearly double the number of the previous March, to be 144.
The break down by model provides only quarterly data, and the Tesla Model 3 led with 153, followed by the Hyundai Kona (84), the Nissan Lead (41), the VW E-Golf (29),the Hyundai Ioniq (21), the Jaguar I-Pace (18) and the Tesla Model X and Audi E-Tron (both 17).
Sales of used BEVs fell by around one quarter to 217, while the sales of new PHEVs halved to 58. The leading models for those categories for the March quarter were the Mitshubishi Outlander (160) and the second hand Nissan Leaf (695).
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