Kiwi interest in electric cars sky rockets as petrol prices continue to go up

The number of electric vehicles on New Zealand roads is growing rapidly as Kiwis look at ways to combat the rising cost of petrol.

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We compare the cost of petrol and electric cars as the price of petrol keeps going up. Source: 1 NEWS

Currently, a typical compact family car consumes roughly 7.9 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres so to travel 500kms, it'll cost Kiwis $96.77.

On the other hand, a fully-electric car like the biggest-selling electrical vehicle in New Zealand, the Nissan Leaf, can be fully charged at home for around $4.

As a result, the AA estimates the cost for an average electric car to travel 500 kilometres would be roughly $16, an $80 saving per 500km in comparison to petrol-powered cars.

Motor Industry Association’s David Crawford said the figures have seen a massive spike in electric car purchases in New Zealand.

"About 270 per cent up on this time last year, but off a very small base," he said.

Nearly 500 electric vehicles were sold in New Zealand over the last year compared to 2015 when it was just 35.

"The higher the fuel price, the more interest in electric vehicles," Mr Crawford said.

"Because if you run a pure electric vehicle, its equivalent fuel prices of somewhere between 30 and 40 cents a litre of fuel."

Dunedin car enthusiast Alistair Gilmour admits he grew up a petrol head but it took him just one ride in an electric vehicle to start selling them.

"It's hard for people to get up that first step and purchase one, and I guess a lot of the people who bought them initially, they really were pioneers.

"But I've had no one, not one person, come back and says it's not what I wanted or it's not working out," Mr Gilmour said.

With no road user charges for at least another three years and with petrol hikes showing no signs of slowing down, the popularity of electric vehicles is only expected to rise.