High efficiency and low running costs are the key factors behind electric vehicles’ (EV) extremely low running costs, according to the EECA, which determined the cost of running the Mitsubishi i-MiEV as part of introducing a consumer label August 8. EECA labels have appeared on petrol and diesel vehicles since 2008, giving consumers the benefit of “independent, comparative information on the efficiency and running costs of vehicles,” according to the EECA.
“The label makes it easy for people to see just how much lower the annual running costs of an electric vehicle are,” said Acting Energy and Resources Minister Hekia Parata upon introducing the label.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the first electric vehicle (EV) to be made available retail in New Zealand.
A “zero emissions” vehicle, the i-MiEV emits only approximately 30% of the CO2 of a gasoline minicar even when taking into account the emissions produced to generate the electricity required for charging.
The cost per kilometer to drive the i MiEV is 1/3 that of a comparable gasoline vehicle. That can drop as low as 1/9 that of gasoline when recharging is done overnight, according to Mitsubishi.
“As well as being highly efficient and low-cost to run, electric vehicles are a good fit with New Zealand’s renewables-based electricity system,” Ms. Parata explained.
Some 74% of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable resources. The government has pledged to increase that to 90% by 2025.
Using renewables to fuel transportation has proven more difficult than transitioning the electric grid to renewable resources. The New Zealand government sees EVs and the new consumer label as ways to spur that transition. To support EV purchases, the government has waived road user charges until July 2013.
“With less than 1% of our transport energy currently coming from renewable sources, electric cars offer significant potential to reduce our emissions,” Ms. Parata said.
Moreover, building a complex infrastructure to recharge EVs overnight isn’t necessary. Commuting distances in New Zealand are low and people tend to have home garages with suitable charging points, the EECA noted.
“The label is another practical step to encourage uptake of electric cars in New Zealand, and as more models become available on the New Zealand market we expect to see the upfront costs come down,” said EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill.
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