New vehicle sales in New Zealand

In recent years, New Zealand's automotive industry has witnessed a dramatic shift. Factors such as the clean car program, surging petrol prices, and a growing selection of electric vehicle (EV) models have contributed to this transformation.

The clean car program initiated rebates for new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in July 2021, with a more comprehensive discount scheme implemented in April 2022. The latter scheme, known as the 'clean car discount,' offered rebates for low-emission vehicles and imposed fees for high-emission vehicles.

As we delve deeper into this market share analysis by powertrain, we can observe a shift in consumer preferences. Let's take a closer look at the current market share by powertrain in New Zealand's auto industry (data courtesy of Waka Kotahi, chart courtsey of


New vehicle sales by fuel type in New Zealand

NZ new vehicle sales by fuel type and model. 
Data: Waka Kotahi. Image:


More than 1 in 5 cars needs to be plugged in

Battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) represented 17.3% and 5.1% of total new vehicle sales for the three months ending February 2023, respectively. Together, that means that more than one in five new cars sold in New Zealand needs to be plugged in. 

Back in February 2020, BEV/PHEV accounted for only 2.9% of total new vehicle sales. That's a massive increase in three short years. Add to this a high volume of grey imports - used hybrid and electric vehicles imported from countries like Japan - and we see a real shift in the NZ car parc.   


What are we doing about it?

Well, we know that all those batteries that are powering cars today will need to be reused, repurposed, or recycled at some point. We're working hard on getting a fit-for-purpose facility set up in New Zealand so we can take our expertise across the ditch and help customers there. Watch this space!

In the meantime, if you're in NZ and keen to have a chat with us. We're all ears.