Ultimate BEV guide: every pure-electric car and SUV you can buy in New Zealand
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Electrified vehicles are a hot topic in New Zealand, thanks to rising fuel prices, increasing climate change awareness and the Government's focus on a Clean Car Standard that impacts both consumers and the industry. More buyers than ever want to move to electrified vehicles, but where do you start?
DRIVEN is here to help, with a complete guide to every electrified vehicle on sale in NZ. Below, we deliver the need-to-know information on every Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) currently available, arranged from lowest to highest price.
A BEV is a pure-electric car or SUV: one that doesn't burn fossil fuel at all. Remember that any new BEV sold under $80,000 also qualifies for the Government's $8625 Clean Car Discount, which goes straight back to the buyer after purchase.
If BEVs are not your thing, check out our ultimate guides to Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrids (the non-plug-in type). There's also a guide to every electrified ute and van on the market.
MG ZS EV
Burgeoning Chinese brand MG was already set to make a big impression in NZ, but the Government's Clean Car Discount propelled the ZS EV to stardom. It was launched not only as the cheapest BEV you can buy, but the cheapest plug-in car full stop at $48,990. With the $8625 Discount applied, the original ZS EV was mainstream family-car money at just over $40k.
There's now a facelifted ZS EV on the way, with a 6kWh-larger battery (51kWh) and range increased by 60km to 320km. MG has managed to keep the entry price under $50k for the new Excite version, although those wanting a closer match to the specification of the outgoing car will want to go for the $52,990 Essence.
Price range $49,990-$52,990 Powertrain 51kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 130kW/353Nm Consumption/range 16.2kWh/100km, 320km (WLTP) 0-100km/h 8.6 seconds
The Electric is not the only plug-in Mini you can buy - but it is the only BEV (the other is a hybrid version of the Countryman). It's only available as a three-door hatch, Mini's stated goal being to translate the car's fun-to-drive character into a BEV package.
It's very much a city car, hence the modest battery size and compact dimensions. But it's also one of the cheapest BEVs you can buy (and it is eligible for the full $8625 Clean Car Discount).
Price $60,400 Powertrain 33kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 100kW/295Nm Consumption/range 16.8-14.8kWh/100km, 235-270km 0-100km/h 7.3 seconds
Nissan NZ has just one BEV in its range - but you could argue the brand and the car are EV icons. The Leaf (Low Emissions Affordable Vehicle) is the biggest name in EVs in NZ thanks to its domination of the used-import plug-in market. But it was the launch of the second-generation model that marked its reintroduction into the NZ new-vehicle sphere.
The latest Leaf is offered with two different battery sizes, a 40kWh aimed more at urban drivers and a longer-range 62kW unit that's capable of road trips. In either case, the Leaf is strong on refinement and safety equipment.
Price range $61,990-$69,990 Powertrain 40kWh or 62kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 110kW/320Nm or 160kW/340Nm Consumption/range 14.8-16.1kWh/100km, 270-385km (WLTP) 0-100km/h 7.9-6.9 seconds
PEUGEOT E-208 GT
Save a coloured grille and some blue badges, you'd be hard pressed to pick the e-208 from its petrol-powered siblings. But the 208 platform was designed for BEV technology from the start, resulting in some clever packaging - including a battery split into three sections, maximising capacity and range.
It's very petrol-like to drive, with linear acceleration and conventional (well, compared with other Peugeots at least) controls, but the BEV is also the fastest 208 you can currently buy in NZ.
Price range $61,990 Powertrain 50kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 100kW/260Nm Consumption/range 15.9kWh/100km, 349km 0-100km/h 8.3 seconds
HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC II
Somewhat confusingly, there are new distinctly different Hyundai BEVs wearing the Ioniq name (a portmanteau of "ion" and unique"). This is the original, a Toyota Prius-esque liftback that was created to carry every kind of electrified powertrain: there are also PHEV and hybrid models available. The latest, of course is the Ioniq 5, a bespoke all-new BEV that shares nothing with this model and marks the start of a whole range of Ioniq-branded models.
But don't discount the OG Ioniq. It has arguably done more to establish BEV technology in the NZ new-vehicle market than any other car, predating the likes of Hyundai's own Kona Electric and the Tesla Model 3. A 2019 facelift brought a sharper look and improved battery technology, although the longer-range versions have been discontinued to put more focus on the newer Hyundai BEVs.
Price range $65,990-$71,990 Powertrain 38kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 100kW/295Nm Consumption/range 12.2kWh/100km, 311km
HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC II
The Kona Electric has been a hugely popular BEV in NZ thanks to its combination of compact-SUV style/packaging and, since 2021, new variants that ensure the car has stayed under the Government's $48k Clean Car Discount cap. It's even topped the BEV sales charts some months.
The facelifted model launched in 2021 features a more aero-look front with closed-off grille, more digital-centric dashboard, expanded safety equipment and new low rolling resistance tyres that have improved range.
Price range $69,990-$87,990 Powertrain 39kWh or 64kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 100kW/395Nm Consumption/range 12.8-13.2kWh/100km, 305-484km
All-new car from an all-new brand. But if you think the Polestar 2 looks familar, you're right. The new BEV specialist is a joint venture between Volvo and parent company Geely, and it's using plenty of the Swedish brand's styling cues while it gets established.
The 2 is part sedan, part fastback and part SUV. But it's unashamedly aimed at the big-selling Tesla Model 3, with price and specification to match. The are more conventional SUV models to come (the 3 and 4), as well as a luxury coupe to be called (you guessed it) the Polestar 5.
Price range $69,900-$93,900 Powertrain 69kWh or 88kWh battery, single or dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, FWD or AWD Power/torque 170kW/330Nm or 300kW/660Nm Consumption/range 16.7-20.2kWh/100km, 470-540km (WLTP) 0-100km/h 7.4-4.7 seconds
PEUGEOT E-2008 GT
If the 2008 is essentially an SUV sibling to the 208 hatch, then the e-2008 must be a higher-riding, more spacious alternative to the e-208.
It has the same 50kWh battery pack and 100kW electric motor, albeit with slightly reduced performance and range - but still generous for a compact BEV. As with the e-208, the e-2008 is only available in top GT specification.
Price $71,990 Powertrain 50kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 100kW/260Nm Consumption/range 15.1kWh/100km, 332km (WLTP) 0-100km/h 9.0 seconds
TESLA MODEL 3
The Model 3 has become a hero car for Tesla in NZ - and a hero car for the BEV cause globally. It's the world's biggest-selling pure-electric vehicle and even broke into the overall top 10 sales charts in NZ for 2021, helped along by the entry RWD model sitting well under the $80k price cap for the Government Clean Car Discount.
As a company, Tesla likes to do things differently. It doesn't like to talk about battery capacities and power outputs, but it loves to highlight range and acceleration figures. Unsurprisingly, these are two areas where the Model 3 is a standout.
With the staggering success of the Model 3 in NZ, interesting to note that the regular variants of the larger (but much older) Model S sedan and Model X SUV/MPV are no longer listed for sale, save previews of the new super-high-performance Plaid versions. And don't forget the Model 3's SUV sibling, the Model Y, which is likely to be an even bigger success when it's launched in NZ.
Price range $72,400-$100,900 Powertrain 50kWh or 75kWh battery, single or dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, RWD or AWD Power/torque 150kW/350Nm, 258kW/527Nm or 336kW/639Nm Consumption/range 11.0-13kW/100km, 491-602km 0-100km/h 6.1-3.3 seconds
Kia's first dedicated BEV shares its platform and powertrain technology with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but in terms of styling and driving dynamics it's a very different proposition.
The sleek fastback five-door body shape is low and wide, and the chassis has a more sporting demeanour to suit. The car is available in both RWD (two models under the $80k Clean Car cap) and AWD. The currently flagship is the GT-Line, but look out for the very rapid GT (0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds) later this year.
Price range $72,990-$109,990 Powertrain 58kWh or 77kWh battery, single or dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, RWD or AWD Power/torque 124kW/350Nm or 239kW/605Nm Consumption/range 14.7-18.0kWh/100km, 394-528km 0-100km/h 8.5-5.2 seconds
MAZDA MX-30 TAKAMI
Mazda's first-ever BEV is a stand-alone model, albeit roughly equivalent in size to the CX-30 SUV. Note the "MX" designation - Mazda's chosen badge for vehicles that innovate or explore new segments.
The MX-30 has one of the smallest BEV batteries on the market (and hence a modest range) - a very deliberate decision by the company in line with what it calls a "rightsizing" ethos. It argues that the manufacture of a smaller battery makes much less environmental impact, and that an urban SUV doesn't need a huge range. The company also offers a mild hybrid petrol version of the car.
The MX-30 is also notable for its interior: "Freestyle" rear-hinged rear doors, recycled materials and a cork centre console (paying homage to Mazda's beginnings as a cork manufacturer).
Price $74,990 Powertrain 36kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 107kW/271Nm Consumption/range 17.8kWh/100km, 200km (WLTP) 0-100KM/H 9.7 seconds
KIA NIRO EV
With the launch of the Niro back in 2017, Kia embraced electrification completely. It's available in petrol-electric hybrid, PHEV and BEV configurations, all packaged within a medium-sized SUV.
The BEV model comes in three different specifications, all powered by the same 64kWh battery. Only the entry EX dips under the Clean Car Discount price cap - making the "real" price between that and the mid-range SX nearly $12k.
Price range $77,990-$85,990 Powertrain 64kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 150kW/395Nm Consumption/range 14.1kWh/100km, 455km 0-100KM/H 7.8 seconds
The i3 city is BMW's original BEV, launched back in 2012. It's still something of a flag-bearer for the technology, making use of exotic materials like Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (including the "tub" platform on which it is built) and retaining the rear-drive layout the German brand is known for.
It might be an urban hatch, but BMW still offers a sporty version: the i3s has more power, stiffer suspension and more aggressive styling than the entry car.
Price range $78,700-$87,500 Powertrain 42kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, RWD Power/torque 125kW/250Nm or 135kW/270Nm Consumption/range 14.2-14.7kWh/100km, 335-325km 0-100km/h 7.3-6.9 seconds
HYUNDAI IONIQ 5
The Ioniq 5 spearheads Hyundai's new generation of BEVs - there will be other models wearing other numbers to come, but all under the "Ioniq" sub-brand. The 5 is verging on a premium model, with only one variant under $80k, but it also takes Hyundai to new heights of design and technology.
The specification choice is substantial: three different battery sizes, RWD or AWD, high-tech options including a solar roof that can help charge the car and even a V2L (Vehicle to Load) adaptor that allows the Ioniq 5 to run electrical appliances.
Price range $79,990-$112,900 Powertrain 58kWh or 73kWh battery, single or dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, RWD or AWD Power/torque 125kW/350Nm, 160kW/350Nm or 225kW/605Nm Consumption/range 16.7-17.7kWh/100km, 384-481km 0-100km/h 8.5-5.2 seconds
The UX300e is the first-ever BEV from Lexus. Essentially a conversion of the existing UX250h hybrid, it's actually also the fastest UX you can buy - as well as being cheaper than the FWD 250h once the Government Clean Car Discount is applied. Compared with the hybrid models it has a strengthened steering rack, unique suspension tune, acoustic glass, underfloor covers and wheelarch liners to shut out unwanted road noise.
Lexus also offers a lower-specification, fleet-focused version of the UX300e, although that's only available to business buyers on lease and must be returned at the end of the term. There's no retail price quoted for the car, but Lexus plans to filter these models onto the used-vehicle market as individual leases come to an end.
Price $79,990 Powertrain 54kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 150kW/300Nm Consumption/range 17.4kWh/100km, 315km (WLTP) 0-100KM/H 7.5 seconds
MERCEDES-BENZ EQA 250
The EQA is Mercedes-Benz's second BEV - an urban SUV that translates the look of the larger EQC into a more city-friendly size. It's equivalent to the petrol GLA in the maker's wider range.
Unlike the EQC (but very much in keeping with the urban SUV ethos), the EQA is front-drive. You still get a generous battery though, meaning a WLTP range of 400km-plus.
Price $85,500 Powertrain 67kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, FWD Power/torque 140kW/375Nm Consumption/range 16.3kWh/100km, 410km (WLTP) 0-100KM/H 8.1 seconds
The i4 takes BMW's familiar "Gran Coupe" styling theme and applies it to a ground-up pure-electric model: tradition with the latest BEV technology.
The i4 is available in two versions, a RWD eDrive40 and the high-performance M50, which has a range of M-specific equipment and enhancements. It's also brings AWD to the i4, to better contain the huge increase in power and torque that comes with the top model.
Price range $109,900-$137,900 Powertrain 84kWh battery, single or dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, RWD or AWD Power/torque 250kW/430Nm or 400kW/795Nm Consumption/range 16.1-22.5kWh/100km, 590-510km 0-100km/h 5.7-3.9 seconds
While BMW's new i4 and iX models are ground-up BEVs, the iX3 takes a different route: it's a heavily modified electric version of the X3 medium SUV, bringing the German maker's electric technology into a package that will be very familiar to long-time BMW SUV buyers.
It comes in two unusually titled models, Inspiring and Impressive. Both share an 80kWh battery pack, the latter adding trim details and more aggressive styling, including 20-inch wheels.
Price range $114,900-$124,900 Powertrain 80kWh battery, single electric motor, single-speed transmission, RWD Power/torque 210kW/400Nm Consumption/range 21.6-18.9kWh/100km, 440-505km 0-100km/h 6.8 seconds
Mercedes-Benz followed rivals Audi, BMW and Jaguar in creating a mass-produced BEV. But when the EQC came in 2019 made a big impression, winning the 2020 NZ Car of the Year award.
Think of the EQC as en electric equivalent to the GLC SUV. It's even loosely based on GLC architecture (mostly platform and suspension), although the company says there's only around 15 per cent commonality in parts. In terms of styling and powertrain, the EQC is very much its own thing.
Price $151,300 Powertrain 80kWh battery, dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, AWD Power/torque 300kW/760Nm Consumption/range 23.8kWh/100km, 417km (WLTP) 0-100km/h 5.1 seconds
Audi uses "e-tron" as a designation for EV technology, but it's also simply the name of its SUV-BEV. It's available in both wagon and Sportback (coupe) body styles, albeit both with five doors.
All models share the same 95kWh battery capacity, but the powertrain comes in two specifications: the 55 models (wagon or Sportback) get their quattro all-wheel drive from two electric motors, but the hero version is the S Sportback with three motors and more power.
Price range $151,500-$189,900 Powertrain 95kWh battery, dual or triple electric motors, single-speed transmission, AWD Power/torque 300kW/664Nm or 370kW/973Nm Consumption/range 22.5-28.1kWh/100km, 335-325km 0-100km/h 5.7-4.5 seconds
Jaguar has already announced it will become a completely BEV brand from 2025 - a smart move for a small company focused entirely on the luxury market. The company is already established as something of a pioneer in the premium-BEV market with the I-Pace, which was launched back in 2018.
Part SUV, part coupe, the I-Pace is built on a bespoke platform and while it carries some classic Jaguar styling cues, it also embraces a clean-sheet approach to design and packaging. There are two specification levels, SE and HSE, but both share the same 90kWh battery pack and AWD system.
Price range $159,900 Powertrain 90kWh battery, dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, AWD Power/torque 294kWh/696Nm Consumption/range 22.0kW/100km, 470km 0-100km/h 4.8 seconds
The iX is BMW's radical new-generation pure-electric SUV, showcasing its latest design cues, interior architecture and BEV technology.
It's been launched in two versions, the xDrive40 and xDrive50, but from mid-year we'll also see a proper M-version: the M60, which boasts 455kW/1100Nm, M-specific suspension and 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds; more details to follow, including pricing, when it reaches the local market.
Price range $163,900-$197,900 Powertrain 77kWh or 112kWh battery, dual electric motors, single-speed transmission, AWD Power/torque 240kW/630Nm or 385kW/765Nm Consumption/range 21.0-26.6kWh/100km, 425-630km 0-100km/h 6.1-4.6 seconds
Porsche has offered plug-in cars for nearly a decade, but the Taycan is its first BEV. It's available in a dizzying range of body style, powertrain and power configurations.
There are low-slung "sport saloon" and SUV-style Cross Turismo models, with rear-drive (saloon only) and all-wheel drive, and standard or long-range batteries. For the future, also expect to see a low-riding Sport Turismo wagon wearing the GTS badge (Porsche has just launched the saloon in that specification).
Price range $178,500-$373,400 Powertrain 79kWh or 93kWh battery, single or dual electric motors, two-speed transmission, RWD or AWD Power/torque 350kW/345Nm, 350kW/500Nm, 390kW/650Nm, 420kW/650Nm, 440kW/850Nm, 500kW/850Nm or 560kW/1050Nm Consumption/range 28.0kWh/100km, 365-437km 0-100km/h 5.4-2.8 seconds
AUDI E-TRON GT
Audi's low-slung high-performance coupe is a close relation of the Porsche Taycan, albeit with unique styling, a tighter model lineup and the brand's signature quattro all-wheel drive standard across the range.
The e-tron GT is split into two tiers. The standard car is simply the "e-tron GT quattro", while the flagship version is the "RS e-tron GT". The latter is the first production BEV from the Audi Sport (RS) division, not to mention the fastest and most powerful model it has ever created.
Price range $194,500-$273,500 Powertrain 93kWh battery, dual electric motors, two-speed transmission, AWD Power/torque 390kW/640Nm or 475kW/830Nm Consumption/range 19.9-22.5kWh/100km, 487-472km 0-100km/h 4.1-3.3 seconds