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Driving electric car equivalent to buying petrol at 26c/litre

8 August 2011

The high efficiency and low running costs of electric vehicles are highlighted in a consumer label introduced today by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The label puts the cost of running a Mitsubishi i-MiEV - the first mass-produced electric car to be available for retail sale in New Zealand - at $280 a year on average, the equivalent to paying just 26 cents a litre at the petrol pump.

The electric vehicle label joins the familiar fuel economy label that has appeared on petrol and diesel vehicles since 2008. The label gives consumers independent, comparative information on the efficiency and running costs of vehicles.

"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, who launched the label today.

"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."

Around 74% of New Zealand's electricity comes from renewable sources, and Government is aiming to increase that to 90% by 2025.

"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.

New Zealand's low commuting distances, ability to fully charge cars overnight, and prevalence of home garages with suitable charging points means a complex infrastructure is not needed for people to start using the cars.

The Government is supporting the introduction of light electric vehicles by waiving road user charges until July 2013.

"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.

"Whether you're after a car that runs on petrol, diesel, or electricity, labelling gives you the power to choose the most efficient model for the job."

>> Read more about vehicle fuel economy labels

Media enquiries: 

Jane O'Loughlin, EECA communications, 027 445 5975