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Electric vehicles

An electric vehicle (EV) has an electric motor that is powered by a battery which is charged by connecting to an external source of electricity.

There are two main types of electric vehicle:

  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – these are a purely electric vehicles, powered only by the battery which is charged by connecting to an external source of electricity.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – these have two engines – one powered by a battery which is charged by connecting to an external source of electricity, the other engine is fuelled from a fuel tank and generally uses petrol or diesel.

Conventional forms of petrol hybrids aren’t considered electric vehicles as they aren’t charged by ‘plugging in’. Their batteries are only charged by re-capturing energy when braking or from electricity generated by the engine.

Find out more about EVs, including information about safety and regulations(external link)

About the electric vehicle programme

Transport makes up about a fifth of carbon emissions in Aotearoa New Zealand with most of this coming from road transport.  Waka Kotahi is helping Aotearoa transition towards a low emission transport future, through a range of initiatives which are part of a wider cross-government electric vehicle work programme designed to increase electric vehicle uptake.

New technology, like electric vehicles, is opening up the range of transport choices that people can make. This creates better choices for New Zealanders and contributes to a zero carbon transport for New Zealand.

These initiatives, developed with the private sector and local government, will boost the supply of, and demand for, electric vehicles.

Ministry of Transport information on the climate change programme, of which the electric vehicle programme is a part, and statistics on electric vehicles numbers:

Electric vehicle engine type definitions

New Zealand’s Motor Vehicle Register has 10 engine type definitions to allow for all types of electric-powered vehicles to be clearly and correctly identified. This makes it easier to apply exemptions and report on the electric vehicle fleet.

10 engine type definitions

Moving to fully electric vehicles as part of the Waka Kotahi fleet

Waka Kotahi has over 140 vehicles. To contribute towards a low emissions all-of-government fleet, we’re making the switch to a fully electric fleet starting with our pool vehicles.

Public Charging

Waka Kotahi supports the establishment of public charging infrastructure across the state highway network. 

We have a goal of public charging facilities being available every 75 kilometres of the state highway network and have achieved 97 percent of this. 

We collect real-time information about the availability of public charging points around Aotearoa New Zealand through our live database EVRoam. This information is freely distributed, and information can be accessed through our Journey Planner.

EVRoam

Journey Planner(external link)