Best Electric Cars in NZ

Drive the future the hottest EV's in NZ! From the smallest and cheapest to practical electric SUVs.

5 February 2022

Jack Harley
Yourcar Vehicle Reviewer

Testing Electric and Hybrid cars on our roads.

It doesn’t seem like long ago that electric cars were on the horizon and being touted as “the way of the future”. Many of us might have been reasonably un-inspired by these claims due to un-practical ranges, high prices, and a lack of options in the market. However, since then there has been a boom in the electric car market with manufacturers realising the increased demand for sustainable travel options in a world faced with climate issues. As a result, there are now several options available to suit all budgets and preferences in the NZ market.

EV’s can be split up into two main categories based on their reliance on electric motor power:

Fully electric: This refers to cars that rely solely on electric motors to power them and do not take any petrol

Hybrids: This is a car in which combining petrol/diesel and battery power for better efficiency. Its battery can be recharged by plugging it into an external power source, by its onboard petrol-powered engine or a generator system.

The distance ranges of EVs are tested under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). This creates a consistent accuracy across the industry and gives customers complete confidence with what they are buying. Concerning plug-in hybrids, we have scored them based on fuel consumption to give you a comparative understanding.

Interested in becoming more sustainable with your daily driving? This is our list of the best EV’s on the market for each body style in NZ right now:

Fully Electric

Nissan Leaf (Hatchback)

Nissan Leaf

WLTP Range-270km

In 2019/2020, the Nissan Leaf was the world's best-selling fully electric vehicle due to its market-leading reasonable price point, small-car practicality, and innovative technology. In New Zealand specifically, the Nissan Leaf is one of the most readily available cars on this list with extensive Nissan dealer support for getting its customers into the EV market. Unlike many competitors on this list, it does not come with a huge ‘EV premium’ making it a great entry point for anyone looking to get into the EV space. It is also available for the full $8625 government 'Clean Car Rebate', making it an affordable option if you are looking for a small electric car for suburban driving!

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Peugeot 2008 GT Electric (Compact SUV)


Courtesy of Tesla, Inc

WLTP Range- 332km

The small french car manufacturer, Peugeot, is known for producing small cars that challenge the ordinary with captivating designs and exceptional interiors. The e-2008 is no different, but provides a refreshing take on a small electric SUV, offering piercing body lines and a world-class interior. No wonder the e-2008 is becoming a favourite for the modern EV buyer, offering all the space you would need from an SUV, with the nimbleness of a hatchback, and a modern electric powertrain with decent range. The e-2008 SUV is also available for the full government Clean Car Rebate of $8625.

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Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh (Compact SUV)


WLTP Range-484km

The Hyundai Kona Electric is back, and better than ever! The Series II offers a number of upgrades over the previous version, including a well needed facelift and exterior styling changes. Our pick of the bunch is the 64kWh Electric, offering the larger battery (with a longer range), while still coming under the government Clean Car Rebate threshold so qualifying for a potential saving of $8625. As with all Hyundais, this is known for is luxurious interior, industry leading safety features and great dealer support.

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Polestar 2 Long-range Single Motor (Fastback Sedan)


WLTP Range-540km

Polestar has just landed in New Zealand, looking to challenge the local demand seen for Tesla with the announcement of the Polestar 2. This fastback sedan is the perfect all-rounder, offering a "standard-setting level of quality, safety, performance and zero-emission driving enjoyment to rival its competitors". Also qualifying for the full $8625 government Clean Car Rebate, it is a fantastic option for the modern family seeking a luxurious and modern driving experience with options such as vegan upholstery.

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MG HS Plus EV (medium-SUV)


Fuel economy-1.7L/100km

Looking for a well-priced, family-sized SUV that will save you fuel money while still applying for the $5750 Clean Car Rebate? Look no further, the MG HS Plus EV could be the perfect car for you. MG has stormed onto the NZ market, offering a lot of the features of more expensive brands, for a reasonable price that Kiwi's love. The HS Plus EV is no different, offering features such as a panoramic sun-roof, virtual cockpit with a punchy 187Kw (370Nm) hybrid engine. It offers the best of both worlds with 63km of electric driving range, giving it enough to get to the kids soccer game, and back, without using any fuel.

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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (medium-SUV)

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV charging

Fuel economy-1.9L/100km

The Outlander PHEV is one of the only plug-in hybrids in the SUV class all-around at a reasonable price level, almost the same price as a petrol variant while applying for the government $5750 rebate. This combined with its great dealer discounts, 25-minute fast charge, and perfect size has made it hugely popular in the NZ market. Furthermore, the Outlander PHEV has a 55km range from its electric motor alone and the potential for 1.9L/100km in normal driving. So if you are looking for a highly efficient, well-priced SUV with no compromise, this could be the perfect car!

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Skoda Octavia RS iV 180kW (Wagon)


Fuel economy-1.3L/100km

The Skoda Octavia RS iV brings a hybrid powertrain to the ever-popular RS models, offering the perfect mix of performance and efficiency for the modern buyer. The compact wagon style offers a larger boot space, elongated cargo space but keeps the nimbleness of the Octavia RS sedan. It also qualifies for the Clean Car Rebate of $5750. If you are looking for a high-quality, luxury wagon at a reasonable price point in the PHEV market, the Skoda Octavia RS iV should be on your list.

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Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (hatchback)

Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (hatchback)

Fuel economy-2L/100km

While Hyundai offers both a fully-electric Ioniq and hybrid, the PHEV gives you the freedom of choice allowing you to flip between a fully electric mode and hybrid mode. This means you have the efficiency of the electric system for short journeys but the long-range freedom when you need it. With its compact hatchback design, it’s both practical and versatile to suit the freedom you need. So if you are looking for a reasonably priced hatchback giving you more choice in how you drive, the Ioniq PHEV is for you.

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Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV XLS 4WD (Cross-over SUV)


Fuel economy-1.9L/100km

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV is the small, cross-over SUV from Mitsubishi. As a leader in the PHEV space offering two of the few PHEVs qualifying for the Clean Car Rebate, Mitsubishi release the Eclipse Cross with best of the popular Outlander PHEV in a smaller platform. Offering 4WD, up to 650km of total range, and Mitsubishi Diamond Advantage Warranty, it is the perfect environmentally friendly adventure car for you and your family.

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