Types of EVs in New Zealand

Electric Vehicles are becoming more accessible in New Zealand, with several options from new to used. Check out our guide below so that you're more familiar with the different types of EVs available and what might be the best option for you.

What is a hybrid?

Hybrids are powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors, which uses energy stored in batteries. The battery is charged through regenerative breaking and by the internal combustion engine. Hybrids cannot be plugged in to charge the battery.


How does it work?

When you start driving, the electric motor gets you going, then the petrol engine takes over as you go faster. You still need to fill up with petrol but your fuel economy will be much better than a petrol car.


How long do the batteries last in a hybrid car?

In a full hybrid, the battery only provides enough power for driving the car at slower speeds. When the battery runs down, the internal combustion engine takes over. Not all hybrid battery packs are equal. The reliability of each car's battery depends on many variables and the only real way to check out a battery's true condition is at the dealership using its factory software.

What is a PHEV?

A PHEV (Plug in hybrid vehicle) is a type of hybrid electric vehicle. The difference between a PHEV and a hybrid is that a PHEV recharges the battery by plugging in to an electrical charging outlet (either at home or a charging station).


How does it work?

A PHEV can drive a certain distance using just the battery power, no petrol. When the battery power drops to a critical level the petrol engine kicks in while the batteries get charged again. A PHEV uses regenerative braking to recharge the battery.


How long do the batteries last in a PHEV?

Most PHEV battery's should be checked approximately every 240,000kms or every 15 years. Some PHEVs are engineered to last for the lifetime of the car. You should check with the manufacturer for peace of mind.

You can find out more here.

What is a BEV?

A Battery Electric Vehicle or just EV move using a large electric battery and do not use any petrol or diesel fuel.


How does it work?

A BEV has an electric motor and rely 100% on their on-board rechargeable batteries. All energy to run the vehicle comes from the battery pack which is recharged from the grid.


How long do the batteries last in a BEV?

EV batteries are designed to last many years. Most new EVs have battery warranties that guarantee the battery for a certain length of time- typically 5-8 years or distance- eg 100,000kms

Why choose a BEV?

Icon image of plug and battery


  • Zero "tailpipe" emissions
  • Rebate available

Why choose a PHEV?

Icon of electric plug, battery and fuel station


  • Not solely reliant on charging network, have petrol back up
  • Larger battery than a hybrid
  • Larger car models available eg 7 seaters

Why choose a hybrid?

Icon image of battery and petrol fuel station


  • Low cost entry to owning an EV
  • Good short distance car
  • No range anxiety

Which EV is best for you?

Now that you know a bit more about the types of EV's that are available, it's time to start seeing what's currently available in New Zealand.


Drive electric has a great resource that shows which EVs are available to suit a wide range of budgets and lifestyle needs. Explore what New Zealand has to over here


Gen Less also has a great tool available to help you choose an EV based on what's important to you Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership Calculator | Gen Less

EV Charging

Just like the types of EVs, there’s also several methods when it comes to charging an EV

EV Costs

When looking into the costs of an EV, there are some things to keep in mind. Find out what they are.