The best selling EV cars in New Zealand

The best selling EV cars in New Zealand

Laura Laura
8 minute read

The best selling EV cars this year to date

  1. Tesla Model 3 - with 1302 sales
  2. Hyundai Kona EV - with 361 sales
  3. Polestar 2 - with 314 sales
  4. Hyundai Ioniq 5 - with 285 sales
  5. MG ZS EV - with 235 sales
  6. Nissan Leaf - with 177 sales
  7. Kia Niro - with 148 sales
  8. BMW iX3 SUV - with 132 sales
  9. Hyundai Ioniq - with 115 sales
  10. Mini Hatch - with 98 sales

The proof is in the pudding - or in this case, in the sales. But there seems to be a problem in the kitchen. A disparity has arisen between consumers wanting to buy an EV and manufacturers not able to deliver enough vehicles to meet the rising demand.

Could these sales simply reflect those manufacturers who have been able to produce more EVs to meet the demand, instead of what consumers would opt to buy if they had a wider range of products from which to choose?

Demand has spiked - Supply has tanked

It seems as if more than patience is needed if you want to buy the EV of your choice. You will also require deep - very deep - pockets in some cases. There are a few exceptions to this worst case scenario as production makes an effort to keep up with the demand, because the switch to battery powered vehicles is relentless and isn’t going to slow down.

How do things stand in the EV market? Let’s take it brand by brand in the top selling electric vehicles bought this year stats.

1. Tesla Model 3 sedan with a distance range of 491km to 602km; a price range of $65,000 to $95,276

Tesla’s Model 3 sedan leads as New Zealand's best selling EV by a long way. With sales of 1302 so far this year, the Model 3 is set to dominate the EV landscape for the time being. Or is it? The Model 3’s close relation, the Model Y, was launched this month, and is poised to replace the Model 3 as the bestselling EV. How do we know this? Because the Model Y has been out in the U.S. for two years and did just that over there. Consumers love their SUVs far more than hatchbacks or sedans. It stands to reason that NZ consumers will flock to own the Tesla SUV as the price comparison is relatively small.

Tesla has grown to become one of those brand names that develop a slavish following of buyers, similar to Apple. The Model 3 reigns supreme for now, because it is a pleasure to drive and stands head and shoulders over also-rans and wannabe copycats when it comes to design and performance.

Tesla Model 3

2. Hyundai Kona EV SUV with a distance range of 305km to 484km; a price range of $54,500 to $64,000

As we’ve said before, the consumer’s obsession with SUVs is not going anywhere for a while and the Kona is one of the most popular SUVs on the market. Add EV capabilities to the vehicle and you will understand why it’s the second best selling EV so far this year. The Hyundai Kona EV offers a former petrol powered vehicle driver the best seamless transition from petroleum to electric. It is almost a carbon copy of the popular petrol Hyundai Kona SUV, only it’s powered by battery. What else makes the Hyundai Kona EV a worthy runner up to the Tesla Model 3? It’s as innovative as any Tesla, with a futuristic design. 

Hyundai Kona EV

3. Polestar 2 all-electric sedan with a distance range of 470km to 540km; a price range of $63,900 to $73,400

Polestar is a Volvo spin-off. Its petrol powered sibling is the Volvo XC40. The Polestar 2 is a convincing adaptation of a petrol to electricity powered vehicle and wins points for crossing over to the EV platform with design and performance. The only thing the buyer misses out on is the XC40’s spacious interior, but the rest of the vehicle’s exterior and interior is a marvel of fresh thinking. Taking it for a spin - or a long distance drive - it’s easy to see why the Polestar 2 ranks third in the top selling EVs this year.

Pole Star 2

4. Hyundai Ioniq 5 hatchback with a distance range of 430km to 451km; a price range of $71,900 to $75,900

The Ioniq 5 has been tailor made to be an EV. That means there was no adaptation from petrol to battery power, and it shows in the vehicle’s zippy design and the pure functionality of feature placement. While the Hyundai Ioniq 5 may not be destined to reach the great heights achieved by its SUV sisters, it outranks all other EV hatchback sales this year and sits comfortably at number four.

Ioniq 5

5. MG ZS EV SUV with a distance range of 263km; a price range of $46,990 to $49,990

China bought the British MG car brand and brought it back from the brink by changing the focus over to battery power and adapting petrol designs to EV functionality. And the good news is that the MG brand lost none of the elegant design and performance of the vehicle in the process either. While owned by China and built in China, the MG ZS manages to retain highly desirable elements such as accessible price and competent driving features. These are the reasons why the MG EV brand has made such deep in-roads into the Australian market over the past few years - and why the vehicle ranks number five in top EV car sales this year. Here’s hoping the supply can keep up with the demand.

MG ZS EV

6. Nissan Leaf hatchback with a distance range of 270km to 385km; a price range of $50,990 to $61,490

If you had to ask anyone what EV brand comes to mind after Tesla, it would be the Nissan Leaf. Seen as a 2010 pioneer, and not just a vehicle following in Tesla’s footsteps, the Leaf’s design has grown on us over the ensuing 12 years. The vehicle’s reputation for dependability and reliability is almost unparalleled. This - plus its accessible price - is what makes a Leaf EV the first time EV buyer’s vehicle of choice.

Nissan LEAF

7. Kia Niro SUV with a distance range of 463km; a price range of $62,590 to $65,990

Kia is a top seller when it comes to petrol powered vehicles, which is probably why the company rushed to adapt their Niro to battery power. If obsolescence is a concern, there’s no need to worry because Kia has a new version of the Niro about to land soon. The Hyundai Motor Group prioritises three things: sporty design, performance, and utility. Needless to say that the Niro offers all those things and more.

Kia Niro EV

8. BMW iX3 SUV with a distance range of 460km; price $114,900

It’s surprising to see a BMW reach a position on the top selling EVs sales, if only because of its price. Entry level, mid-price, budget-friendly electric vehicle it is most definitely not. All the current BMWi EVs have been adapted from the petrol models, and not purpose built. But even though the BMWi is not bespoke, it’s still very well done, and costs less than the BMW iX. Purists have mentioned their dislike for the in-your-face front grille, but that’s not an issue for the driver.

BMW iX3

 9. Hyundai Ioniq sedan with a distance range of 300km+; a price range from $46,900

Hyundai offers a wide range of battery vehicles and hybrids. The Ioniq is adapted from the petrol powered version, but this hasn’t impacted its progressive design and performance. And while the Ioniq might not be such a recognisable name as the Kona in the EV market, it is making waves with its price which is accessible to an increasingly cost conscious buyer.

Ioniq

10. Mini Hatch 3-door hatchback with a distance range of 233km; a price range of $55,650 to $62,825

Scraping into the top best selling EV list this year is the Mini Cooper SE, three-door hatchback. Although Mini has rebranded itself to run in the higher price bracket, its cheerful, classic style has gained the brand a solid fan base, despite the vehicle’s price. Maybe this will explain the consumers’ tolerance for the crammed-in drivetrain similar to the standard vehicle design, and as for the EV’s drive range - it’s strictly city driving only. It appears in this list for one reason only: most Kiwi consumers don’t have to drive such long distances.

Mini EV

Is the future of accessible EV ownership China-based?

As China leads the way in solar power developments, it’s also soon to lead the way in EV manufacturing. The Chinese built approximately half of the world’s EVs last year. It’s only a matter of time before Chinese domestic brands make their presence felt in the New Zealand markets. If you are looking for an EV in the $45,000 price bracket, then BYD in China might be able to deliver what you need very soon.

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