11 Mar
Will hybrids fill the void left by the Nissan Leaf's departure?

Nissan Leaf makes like a tree

Electric-powered cars have been heralded as the future of driving. While hydrogen cells and biofuels would perhaps have something to say about that, it's a fact that electric uptake has been quite slow in New Zealand. In May 2015, there were only 660 electric vehicles (EVs) in the country, according to Otago's Centre of Sustainability.

And it appears that this slow uptake is set to continue, as one of the leading providers of EVs, Nissan, has removed one of its most popular electric models from sale in New Zealand.

The Nissan Leaf, often hailed as the only reasonably priced electric vehicle, was pulled from the New Zealand market in November, resulting in a distinct lack of options for any fleet managers interested in a pure EV.

Nissan New Zealand managing director John Manley was reported by Stuff as saying that pulling the Leaf from the market was purely due to commercial reasons. The price of about $40,000 is likely the culprit, as it was one of the lowest-priced EVs available, and this was likely unsustainable – particularly as it was slashed to this from $70,000 in June 2014.

However, all is not lost for those looking for a green alternative: low oil and petrol prices have made hybrid vehicles even more viable, making the switch to electric unnecessary if you are looking to save on fuel costs. In fact, the Electric Power Engineering Centre showed that hybrid hit about 50 per cent of the annual cost of petrol.

With the Nissan Leaf off the market, it looks like fossil fuels are, for the moment, here to stay. You can save on your small-business fuel costs with a special petrol discount card from us – contact us today to find out more!