Clearing the air

EV Myths Article

Clearing the air: debunking 5 common misconceptions surrounding electric vehicles


Just like any emerging technology, electric vehicles aren’t immune to criticism. A number of common misconceptions continue to circulate, despite rapid advancements in the industry meaning many of them are no longer true. We’re excited to celebrate the fourth annual World EV Day by arming Kiwis with the facts about EV ownership in New Zealand. As New Zealand’s EV fast-charging network, we recognise the important role we can play in making sure Kiwis are plugged into all the news and developments in the EV space.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of common EV myths that need to be left in the 2010s – to help you make an informed decision about whether buying an EV in New Zealand is the right choice for you.

  1. The limited range of EVs means a single charge won’t get me where I need to go.


    The EV industry refers to this common concern as ‘range anxiety’ which, was valid during the early stages of EV adoption when vehicles with  limited range were the only option, meaning many Kiwis were worried about how far they could travel on a single charge. Today’s reality is that there are so many choices when it comes to EVs that you’re sure to find one with a range that suits your lifestyle and driving needs.

    The reality:

    • There are more than 40 cars available in New Zealand with a range of 500km+, and dozens more with a 300km+ range
    • Two thirds of our vehicle trips in New Zealand are under 6km, meaning a single charge is more than enough to get you where you need to go
    • If you’re going on a long road trip, you’ll likely be making stops along the way where public EV charging stations are available – to stretch your legs, grab a coffee or get a snack – so you’ll rarely need to travel on a single charge
  2. Charging takes too long, and there aren’t enough public chargers available in New Zealand.


    In the early days of electric vehicles, public chargers were few and far between, causing well-founded anxiety among their owners. The vehicles available in New Zealand also had smaller batteries with a slower charging rate. While these vehicles are still available and serve an excellent purpose for city commuters, EV battery technology has rapidly evolved with today’s options boasting bigger and better batteries that can charge in the time it takes to do your grocery shopping.

    The reality:

    • Aotearoa boasts thousands of public electric vehicle charging stations across the country, from Cape Reinga to Bluff
    • ChargeNet’s 300kW hyper-rapid EV chargers can boost the range of some modern EVs by 100km in less than 5 minutes
    • 82% of EV charging is carried out at home, with public chargers being used for top ups on longer journeys or in emergencies
    • When your EV is plugged in at home overnight, you’ll add up to 40km of range for every hour of charging
    • Charging stations are positioned strategically along key highways and in popular road-trip towns
    • Aotearoa boasts a minimum of one charging station for every 75km of state highway, outstripping a number of European countries
  3. EV batteries don’t last long enough, and replacement batteries are too expensive.


    It’s true that EV batteries are more expensive to replace than traditional car batteries and suffer degradation, but it’s important to consider these factors in the overall context of vehicle ownership. EV batteries will drive you up to half a million kilometres over their lifespan, and even with their replacement costs, your EV will still save you money thanks to its low maintenance costs and fuel savings. Your battery will also last longer the better you take care of it.

    The reality:

    • EV batteries have been proven to last up to 20 years, with their lifespan continually improving as technology develops
    • While EV batteries currently cost around $10,000 to replace, this cost is plummeting every year with the speed of battery developments
    • EV batteries lose just 2.3% of their capacity each year, meaning a new EV with a 480km range should still cover 336km after 13 years – more than enough to make it a practical vehicle
    • EV batteries are also incredibly valuable for their potential second life in applications like energy storage, extending their usefulness and contributing to a sustainable energy grid
  4. The environmental impact of electric vehicles is worse than petrol or diesel cars.


    Some people argue that between the emissions created during the production of EVs, the energy used for charging, and the impact of battery disposal, EVs are worse for the environment than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. While it’s true that making an EV produces more emissions than a traditional car, when comparing emissions over the life of a vehicle, EVs win over fuel-powered cars every time.

    The reality:

    • A gasoline-powered car emits most of its greenhouse gases during operation (not production), while EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions while on the road
    • More than 80% of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable resources, making EVs truly the sustainable choice
    • When your battery reaches the end of its life, it can be reused for renewable energy storage
  5. EVs are too expensive and there isn’t enough choice.


    In recent years, the EV market has experienced significant growth and transformation. While it’s true that some high-end EV models can carry a premium price tag, there is now a broad range of EV options available to cater to various budgets, with a handful of options below $50,000 brand new. In terms of options to choose from, there are hundreds of models of electric vehicles currently available in New Zealand (or coming very soon), from the stylish GWM Ora to the head-turning Porsche Taycan. Whether you’re looking for something to get you to and from work, a sleek weekend car or an SUV for road trips with the family, there’s an option for you with a range to suit your lifestyle. Plus, EVs in New Zealand have been drastically reducing in price since their arrival, with many affordable choices made even more attractive by the government’s Clean Car Discount scheme.

    The reality:

    • Recent data shows entry-level EV pricing has dropped by 24% over the last two years
    • The used vehicle market is picking up as more Kiwis adopt EVs, with more affordable options becoming available
    • The average Kiwi EV driver saves around $2,500 per year in maintenance and fuel costs, helping to offset the initial investment
    • This year, Tesla shaved $4,000 off the price of its Model Y and Model 3 cars, and MG Motors announced pricing for the first battery-electric vehicle priced under $40,000
    • There are more than 200 different models of EVs currently for sale in New Zealand or available for pre-order

And there you have it

As you can see, it’s important not to believe everything you hear. The EV industry is moving incredibly fast, and it can be hard to keep up with all the developments – especially if people around you aren’t up to speed either. We hope that by sharing the realities of EV ownership we’ve helped to break down any perceived barriers that may have been preventing you from making the switch.