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The Surging Electric Vehicle Market in New Zealand, UK and the U.S.

2018-11-15 10:14 Thursday

Sales of electric vehicles have been stagnant in New Zealand, only reaching 10,000 through September 2018. In order to reverse this trend, the government is looking to implement policies that would  make electric vehicles more attractive to domestic consumers, though the specific policies remain unknown at this time.

 Electric Vehicle

However, there is no doubt that the extremely high cost of electric vehicles in New Zealand has turned off many consumers. The Nissan Leaf is the cheapest and most popular model, but the $10,499 upfront payment required is prohibitively high for most consumers. More upmarket models can require upfront payments that are $10,000 higher than that for the Nissan Leaf.

In the UK, the government announced an ambitious plan last year that would ban all new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 to reduce rising levels of nitrogen oxide. Consumers are currently provided with a subsidy of up to £4,500 when choosing to purchase a green vehicle.

Sales of electric vehicles reached a record high in August and accounted for one of every twelve new cars purchased in the UK, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. This represented an increase of 23% from the previous year.

However, this growth will occur as previous government subsidies are phased out. The UK government recently decided to slash the subsidy for electric vehicles, meaning that electric and hybrid vehicles will effectively be thousands of pounds more expensive for British consumers. Industry experts are trying to convince the treasury to issue emergency funds to avoid a sudden decline in sales, which could do irreparable damage to the electric vehicle sector in the UK.

The situation is completely different in the United States. A new study from AAA reveals that the electric vehicle market is expanding, with nearly 20% of Americans planning on purchasing an electric car as their next vehicle.

"Fifty million people said they would likely buy an electric vehicle for their next car" said Doni Lee Spiegel, spokesperson of AAA, citing reduced emissions and environmentally-conscious consumers. Other reasons for the newfound popularity of electric vehicles include increased driving range, advanced safety features and reduced ownership costs. The support infrastructure continues to grow as well, with more than 16,000 charging stations expected to have been completed throughout the United States by the end of 2018.

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