The New Zealand electric vehicle market experienced the smallest increase in 12 months in March, and is likely to experience a sharper decline in April thanks to the locking of Covid-19.
New data released by the Department of Transportation shows that 473 EVs – both full electricity and plug-in hybrids – were sold in March, down 15 percent from the previous month, 20 percent 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 drop in EV sales in March is likely explained by a lockup that took effect two weeks ago, and took about 10 trading days out of the market. It might also be partly explained by the decline in imports from Japan.
However, the New Zealand market has reached an important milestone, with total EV sales now above 20,000 and reaching 20,305 – with more than half (10,980) using electric battery vehicles (BEV), and most of these Nissan Leafs are imported from Japan, and only under a new BEV quarter.
The rest consists of new and used hybrid EV plugs.
In the last month, new BEV sales actually rose from the previous two months, and nearly doubled the number of the previous March, to 144.
Model breakdown only provides quarterly data, and the Tesla Model 3 is led by 153, followed by Hyundai Kona (84), Nissan Lead (41), VW E-Golf (29), Hyundai Ioniq (21), Jaguar I-Pace (18 ) and Tesla Model X and Audi E-Tron (both 17).
Sales of used BEVs fell by around a quarter to 217, while sales of new PHEVs dropped to 58. The main models for the categories for the March quarter were the Mitsubishi Outlander (160) and the former Nissan Leaf (695).
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