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Electric vehicles as cheap as petrol cars in just a few years – expert

The electric vehicle cost barrier may soon be a thing of the past, with a motor industry expert saying electric vehicles will be as cheap to purchase as petrol versions in five to seven years' time.

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Motor industry expert Keith Bradsher weighs in on the issue on Q+A with Jack Tame. Source: Q+A

By Connor Stirling

Just 24,000 of the 4 million total cars on New Zealand roads are currently powered by electricity, 40,000 shy of the Government's end-of-year target.

Keith Bradsher, who is also the New York Times' Shanghai bureau chief, told Q+A's Jack Tame the costs coming down will help, but New Zealand has a "significant challenge" ahead of itself to increase electric vehicle uptake. 

A Tesla Model X in 2018. Source: istock.com

"New Zealand does not have especially high taxes for which it can then exempt electric cars," he said.

Bradsher also questioned what role the national electricity grid could play.

"New Zealand could have the grid charge everybody a little more for their electricity and then use the money to install more charging stations," he said.

The Climate Change Commission has already called to stop the import of internal combustion light vehicles by 2032 in order to bring down carbon emissions.

See the full interview when Q+A returns at 9am on Sunday, on TVNZ 1 and streaming online.