Why buy EV

Here at Sheaff Vehicles, we believe the time has come for a change in thinking around what Kiwis drive each day. It is pretty clear that the current model of “gas guzzling” Internal Combustion Engines (ICE’s) is not sustainable, which is why we have made a significant move towards supplying conscientious Kiwis with fuel saving alternatives, in particular Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrids.

With petrol prices on the rise (again), now more than ever is the right time to have a really good look at how you use your vehicle, as in most cases, an EV would be ideal choice of vehicle to use.

Drive the future – with an electric car you’ll not only have a fun, smooth, quiet drive, you’ll also save a huge amount on running costs – equivalent to paying 30 cents a litre for fuel! And because EVs run on New Zealand’s 80% renewable electricity, rather than imported oil, you’ll be helping the environment too through reduced carbon emissions.

We recommend you undertake your own research into EV ownership, but to get started, we have assembled most of the key facts here, and of course you are welcome to contact us directly for honest advice to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages of electric vehicles

  • Cheaper to run - the cost of charging an EV is equivalent to paying around 30 cents per litre for petrol.*
  • Charge up at home - EVs can be charged anywhere there is a power point, just like charging your cell phone. You can wake up to a ‘full tank’ every morning by plugging in at home, and never have to go out of your way to a petrol station again.
  • Pollution-free driving - EVs don’t have a tailpipe and produce no exhaust emissions that cause local air pollution.
  • Noise reduction - EVs are quieter than petrol or diesel vehicles.
  • 80% reduction in CO2 emissions in New Zealand - this significant reduction in emissions is because 80% of New Zealand’s electricity is generated from renewable sources. There are also many other advantages to using this home-grown energy compared with using imported fossil fuels.
  • Fewer lifecycle emissions - even when you take into account raw material extraction, battery manufacture, vehicle manufacture and shipping, EVs emit 60% fewer climate change emissions over their full life cycle than for petrol vehicles.
  • More efficient - EVs can convert well over 90% of energy from their batteries into moving the car. This compares to 20% - 30% energy conversion for a petrol or diesel vehicle.

In 2015, EECA commissioned a lifecycle analysis of the environmental impact of EVs compared to internal combustion engine vehicles (petrol and diesel). The report confirmed EVs are better for the New Zealand environment than petrol or diesel powered vehicles, across the lifecycle of the vehicle as well as in use.

* Estimate based on a residential off-peak charge rate, and will vary.

Challenges of electric vehicles

  • Price – new EVs tend to cost more to buy than equivalent conventional cars, but much lower running costs will help offset the initial higher price tag. Used import electric cars can compare well with the price of equivalent used petrol or diesel vehicles.
  • Range - most EVs don’t travel as far on a full-charge as petrol or diesel vehicles travel on a full tank. However, the average daily travel by car in New Zealand is less than 29 km – easily within the range of EVs, and 90% of all journeys are under 90 km. As battery and vehicle technology improves, and fast charging stations become commonplace, range will become less of an issue. If you are concerned about range, a plug-in hybrid EV may be a better option for you, but you won’t get the significant reduction in maintenance cost that you will for a purely electric vehicle.
  • Battery re-use and recycling - if an EV battery reaches the end of its vehicle life, it may still have a useful second life, for example storing electricity from solar PV panels. EV manufacturers already have recycling programmes in place. Members of the Motor Industry Association of New Zealand have committed to a code of practice to have suitable systems in place for the use, capture, return, refurbishment, reuse, recycling or disposal of EV and hybrid batteries, with the aim of no batteries ending up in landfills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an EV? An EV (electric vehicle) is an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, powered by electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device.

How long does it take to charge an EV? From absolutely drained it will take about 8 hours to charge your EV to Full at home with a 2.2kW power supply. At a 50kW Rapid Charge station it will take about 30mins (enough time for a coffee!) to an 80% charge. We find our EVs are very rarely charged from empty and we simply plug them in once home and charge overnight, or if needed top up at work or at a Rapid charger on route. Level 2 Charges are often found in public places like shopping malls with preferential parking and you can expect to achieve an 80% capacity charge in about 2 hours.

Where can I charge my EV? Other than at your own home or workplace, there is an ever increasing public charge network in New Zealand with over 350 charge points listed on the popular www.plugshare.com site and the super convenient plugshare app! At the moment there are numerous free rapid charge stations around the country and also a large number of pay per charge options where you can achieve an 80% charge in about 30minutes.

How much will it cost to charge my EV? Charging your EV at home will cost approximately $3.00 from completely drained to 100% Full, depending on your energy provider and time of charging. The majority of public Rapid Charges and Type 2 Charges are currently free and charging at a pay per charge Rapid Charger will cost 25c / minute + 25c / kWh.

Is an EV a suitable family car? Absolutely! We have a range of vehicles from small city runabouts like the Mitsubishi i-Miev to the larger Nissan Leaf that will comfortably fit 5 Adults plus luggage in the generous boot. We also have a 7 Seat EV option with the Nissan e-NV200 Combi and a 4x4 SUV alternative with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV so there is an EV for every family, big or small!

Do I have to service my EV? Unlike a traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) powered vehicle there is no oil to change, no filters to replace, no sparkplugs or glow plugs and no costly transmission servicing! Less moving parts in the drivetrain (only 20 vs. 2,000 in ICE Cars!) means less maintenance and less chance of component wear and failure. We do encourage our EV owners to visit us for an annual EV health check where we rotate tyres, check brake pads, inspect suspension components and complete a battery diagnostic. This is normally scheduled for the same time that your WoF (Warrant of Fitness) is due.

How long will the battery last? From our experience (and from other EV drivers around the world who have travelled in excess of 150,000kms in Electric Vehicles) as batteries get older they continue to function but range is reduced so for example when new you might have been able to achieve 160kms from a charge and after 5 years and 80,000kms your range might be down to 120kms. As battery technology advances over the next 2 – 5 years replacement batteries will be available at a reduced cost. We already have companies working on renewing and replacing individual lithium cells in battery packs, meaning increased range in older EVs. For increased piece of mind Sheaff Vehicles offer Autosure Battery Component warranties at very reasonable prices that will cover you in the event of any mechanical or battery failure.

What sort of range can I expect from my EV? All EVs offer a different expected range with individual driving style and terrain conditions also impacting on actual achieved range. Smaller city EVs like the Mitsubishi i-Miev will achieve about 80kms per charge with the 30kw Nissan Leaf achieving 200km+ per charge. More expensive EVs like the Tesla S have an expected range of 350kms+ and benefit from a much larger battery. With battery technology advancing rapidly we expect to see EV range exceed the 500km+ per charge with battery upgrades available for older EVs increasing their range and useful life.

Does an Electric Vehicle feel the same to drive as a Petrol / Diesel Vehicle? To quote Nissan Leaf owner Mark “No it's far superior. It makes my Mercedes diesel feel like a dinosaur.” Driving an EV is like driving the future! Electric motors provide instant torque meaning as soon as you push the accelerator you get instant power! With no transmission there is no lag meaning super smooth acceleration! Also there is no noise! Electric motors are very quiet so EVs are not only fun to drive but are a very peaceful place to be and provide a relaxing environment no matter where you are driving! We like to call it “Guilt Free Grunt!” – No paying for fuel, No harming the environment and No stress!

What is the difference between an EV a Hybrid Vehicle and a PHEV?
An EV is powered purely by an electric motor(s)

A Hybrid is powered by a combination of both Electric and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) Motors with the electric batteries being charged by the ICE engine and regenerative braking

A PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) is powered by a combination of both Electric and ICE Motors with the electric batteries being charged by the ICE engine and regenerative braking, but also charged by plugging in to a charge point. Like 100% EVs, PHEV’s can run for extended distance in pure EV mode without relying on an ICE engine for recharge.

How does driving an EV help the environment? Unlike ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) powered vehicles, Electric Vehicles produce no exhaust gasses so release no harmful chemicals into our environment. They also don’t require oil for engine lubrication so without fuel and oil there is less reliance on fossil fuels creating less demand for the plundering of earth’s natural resources.

For further information about Electric Vehicles in NZ, check out these websites:
And for up to date news about EV’s go to http://evtalk.co.nz/

Contact info


  • Monday 8.00am - 5.00pm
  • Tuesday 8.00am - 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 8.00am - 5.00pm
  • Thursday 8.00am - 5.00pm
  • Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm
  • Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
  • Sunday By Appointment
(Excl. some public holidays)


140 Hewletts Road, Mt Maunganui, Tauranga