DRIVEN Car Guide Sustainability Survey 2024: how have NZ attitudes changed?

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This is the third round of the DRIVEN Car Guide Sustainability Survey.

This is the third round of the DRIVEN Car Guide Sustainability Survey.

View the full DRIVEN Car Guide Sustainability Survey report here

The hybrid and EV market is in the midst of great change in New Zealand. After two-and-a-half years of Government Clean Car Discount rebates for electrified cars (and even that programme was heavily revised in May 2023), we’re now back to a more even playing field for EV-versus-hybrid/ICE vehicles.

DRIVEN Ca Guide Sustainability Survey 2024.
Sans-rebates, EVs now have to work harder to make a case for themselves against ICE.

How much of an impact does that have on the buying public? It’s the perfect time to revisit the DRIVEN Car Guide Consumer Attitudes to Sustainability Study. This is the third wave of the study, which includes 1000 consumer responses, gauging views on transport habits and buying intentions.

The questions asked for 2024 were similar to previous years to maintain consistency, but we adjusted some to take the change in feebate scheme into account and ensure as much focus went onto hybrid vehicles as plug-in vehicles.

We asked about lifestyle changes, current vehicles, sustainable transport habits, awareness of electrified vehicle terminology, which factors might promote or deter an eco-car purchase, what the influence of the feebate scheme has been, and where people go to research EV information.

DRIVEN Car Guide Sustainability Survey 2024.
An overview of the latest Survey: what do Kiwis really think?

What the Survey says

In terms of lifestyle, there has been a 34 per cent decrease in those working from home to decrease their carbon footprint, although there has been a 9 per cent increase in recycling effort. Staying steady are other measures such as choosing more sustainable brands generally (31pc) and taking public transport (18pc).

The percentage of those choosing a more sustainable car has also not changed: 37 per cent of respondents said they have made this change.

DRIVEN Car Guide Sustainability Survey 2024.
Percentage of buyers considering a hybrid/EV as their next car has made a big leap.

One in three already own a hybrid or electric vehicle, with a decrease in the percentage of EVs matched by an increase in hybrids. Four out of 5 intend to stay with their current main form of transport for the next 5 years.

Almost half of car buyers would consider a hybrid/EV vehicle as their next purchase (up 15pc), and the number of respondents who already own one is up 31pc compared to last year, to 22pc.

DRIVEN Car Guide Sustainability Survey 2024.
The way an EV goes just outranks its eco-benefits, according to respondents.

Fewer people say they are “intending” to use their car less, which is balanced out by an increase in those “considering” the change.

Awareness of electrified vehicle terminology remains high at 90 per cent of respondents, with the only significant drop being BEV (battery electric vehicle), down from 77pc to 67pc.

Top motivators for a hybrid/EV purchase are driving performance, environmental impact and the feelgood factor (all quite similar at 63-64pc), while the most significant deterrents are purchase cost (73pc), range (55pc) and recharging infrastructure (54pc).

What if the Clean Car Discount came back?

The change to the Government rebate system now rates as the number one factor (41pc) in creating uncertainty around a hybrid/EV purchase, followed by resale value (38pc) and safety features (37pc).

But in terms of overall factors in making the switch to an EV, driving range per charge remains the number 1 concern for Kiwi motorists, followed by purchase cost; both ranked the same last year. However, number 3 has switched from lower running costs in 2023 to the charging setup at home for 2024.

Nearly half of respondents (45pc) say a switch back to a feebate-style scheme would influence their next purchase. Also rating highly was provision of better charging infrastructure (29pc).


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