December 4, 2023

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A sign of stagnation or an opportunity for consumers?

A sign of stagnation or an opportunity for consumers?

In recent developments in the New Zealand electric vehicle (EV) market, EV prices are being reduced significantly ahead of the end of the Clean Car Rebate Scheme. According to distributors consulted by RNZ, the move arises in response to a lack of interest from consumers. The National Party has promised to scrap rebates for polluting vehicles and raise tariffs, commonly known as the “consumption tax”, within the first 100 days of government if they come to power.

While dealers have been implementing price cuts to improve competitiveness, they haven’t seen an increase in customer interest since the clean car discount was eliminated. The EV market has experienced months of stagnation and uncertainty. Oliver Gazley, director of Gazley Motor Group dealerships, explained that while some potential buyers may be waiting for a change in government, economic factors such as inflation and high interest rates have also reduced spending.

Dealers have reported that EV manufacturers are holding excess inventory, which has led to attractive discounts during the government rebate period. David Foote, director of Brendan Foote Supersite dealership, highlighted the willingness of manufacturers to take advantage of government incentives to clear their inventory. However, Steve Greenwood, director of Drive EV, noted that the government rebates have not created a flood of customers, but have streamlined the purchase process for those already considering an EV.

According to Nick Jackson, director of Auckland City Electric Vehicles, the end of the clean car rebate program will widen the gap between new and used EV prices. He suggested that the prices of imported EVs could be affected by tariffs in Japan, making it uncertain whether they would remain the same or decline even after the rebate is removed.

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Despite the possible end of the discount, industry experts still believe in the long-term growth of the EV market. Regardless of government incentives, Greenwood emphasized that electric vehicles are a logical choice from a variety of perspectives. Additionally, Trade Me, one of New Zealand’s largest online marketplaces, has seen a steady increase in searches for hybrid and electric vehicles throughout the year, with smaller increases during the election campaign period.

Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is the Clean Car Discount Scheme?
The Clean Car Rebate Program is a government initiative in New Zealand that provides rebates and incentives to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles and discourage the use of high-polluting vehicles.

2. Is the EV market experiencing significant growth in New Zealand?
Although the market has been relatively stagnant recently, experts believe that the electric vehicle industry will continue to grow in the long term due to the various advantages of electric vehicles.