Blog Archives

1 in 3 don’t wear seatbelts

New research has found that people in rural areas, driving for work and the elderly were some of the surprising groups found to be dying in road crashes when not wearing seatbelts.

The AA Research Foundation led a project in partnership with the Ministry of Transport, NZ Police, NZ Transport Agency and ACC to look in depth at 200 deaths where people were not buckled up, and also examine the offence history of people caught not wearing a seatbelt.

One of the major findings was that seatbelt deaths are not restricted to just one group.

“When we analysed the 200 deaths to understand the types of people involved, we found that along with the young, risky drivers that people might expect to feature, the other common groups were people in rural areas, people driving for work, the elderly and tourists,” says AA Research Manager Simon Douglas.

“The vast majority of people wear their seatbelt, yet up to 30 per cent of vehicle occupant deaths in recent years haven’t been buckled up. The research aimed to build a much greater understanding of who it was being involved in these crashes.”

Other key findings were:

  • On average over the last decade, 26 per cent of vehicle occupants who died in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt
  • 83.5 per cent of deaths where someone wasn’t wearing a seatbelt occurred on rural roads
  • 53.5 per cent of unrestrained deaths involved alcohol
  • 36.5 per cent of unrestrained deaths involved fatigue
  • 58 per cent of people caught by police not wearing a seatbelt have at least one previous seatbelt offence

The full research report is available online here

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Carpooling website launching in NZ

Easy As Carpooling, an environmentally friendly and economical way of travelling. Carpooling is about sharing one’s personal vehicle with other users to make a common car journey. It is a fast-growing mode of travel that complements all other forms of transport.

“Help us to build a new community of responsible travellers. In this new sharing economy carpooling has a real meaning and will be great for New Zealand,” said one of the directors of Easy As Carpooling, Melisa Cohen to Autofile.

Four French shareholders, who have been living in New Zealand for several years, have created Easy As Carpooling. After living and working in Auckland, they realised the impact of the traffic congestion on Aucklanders. So they decided to build a website that offers a carpooling service for commuters and travellers – Easy As Carpooling. 

You can choose to be the driver and share your car with other passengers who are heading to the same location. Alternatively, you can let someone else drive their car with you and others sharing the ride. Sharing a car journey can be a regular routine, a spur of the moment trip, over both short and long distances.

Why is Easy as Carpooling different from other ride sharing companies?

Easy as Carpooling are passionate about preserving New Zealand’s natural habitat. They strive to protect New Zealand’s pure and green image.

Safety is a key factor – with tools like driver and passenger ID verification, rating system, mobile and email verifications as well as ladies-only rides, all users should be safe on the road.

Three different type of rides are on offer:
●    Ladies Only
●    Road Trip Rides / Travel mates
●    Corporate Rides / Business

Click here for more information.

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Wholesale vehicle sales up nearly 6%

All wholesale trade industries recorded higher sales in the December 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

The seasonally adjusted total sales value for wholesale trade rose 3.0 per cent in the December 2017 quarter, after rising 1.4 per cent in the September quarter.

The December rise was the seventh-consecutive quarterly rise and the largest since the September 2010 quarter, when the value rose 3.8 per cent.

By industry, basic materials wholesaling had the largest increase in sales value, up 6.3 per cent ($354 million) from the September quarter when adjusted for seasonal effects.

“Other agricultural products wholesaling was the main contributor to the increase in basic materials industry,” wholesale trade manager Sue Chapman said.

Other agricultural products wholesaling includes businesses supplying products such as livestock, feed, seed, and fertiliser. Petroleum products and hardware goods also made sizeable contributions to the increase in basic materials.

Machinery and equipment had the second-largest rise of all industries, up 3.3 per cent ($167million). Machinery and equipment includes agricultural and construction machinery, computer and computer peripherals, telecommunication goods, and professional and scientific goods.

Motor vehicles

The third-largest rise in sales value by industry was in motor vehicles and parts, including cars and trucks, up 5.9 per cent ($153 million) in the December quarter. This rise follows a 3.0 percent fall in the September quarter.

“The sales rise in motor vehicles and parts wholesaling coincides with a recent increase in retail sales of vehicles and parts,” Ms Chapman said. “Retail trade survey for the December 2017 quarter showed that motor vehicles and parts sales rose in both value and volume.”

Source: Stats NZ

Wholesale vehicle stocks up 7.2 per cent

The total value of wholesale trade stocks held at 31 December 2017 was $11.6 billion, up 7.2 per cent ($781 million) when compared with 31 December 2016.

Stocks rose from the December 2016 quarter in all the six wholesale industries, with motor vehicles and motor-vehicle parts leading the rise.

Motor vehicles and motor-vehicle parts were up 16 per cent ($285 million) in the December quarter, when compared with the same period in 2016.

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EVolocity holding launch events

Source: Evolocity Facebook page

EVolocity is holding regional launch events throughout the month of March. 

EVolocity gives high school students a practical way to engage in engineering and sustainability, while also learning a lot about electric vehicles and their benefits. 

“The EVolocity Youth Programme is, in my opinion, the best scheme in New Zealand to promote engineering in high school and get students actively involved in exciting projects.” – Assoc. Professor Mike Duke, University of Waikato.

Dates and Times

Christchurch: March 12, 4pm – 6pm at ARA. RSVP here.

Wellington: March 13, 4-6pm at Sustainability Trust. RSVP here

Hamilton: March 15, 4pm – 6pm at Wintec Rotokauri campus. RSVP here.

Auckland: March 17, 10am – 12:30pm at Univ of Auckland Newmarket. RSVP here.


  • School teams compete to see who can equip a mountain bike with an electric motor and get it going under electric power in the fastest time.
  • Mix and mingle/view bike challenge.
  • Welcome and speeches.
  • Exhibits.
If you’d like to engage with EVolocity – for example by becoming a sponsor or a mentor – please get in touch with or call Rob on 021 728 875.
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EVs jeopardising NZ roads

Electric vehicles (EVs) could be jeopardising the future of New Zealand’s highways.

Barney Irvine, the principal adviser for the Automobile Association of New Zealand, has issued a warning that the increasing uptake of EVs in the country could threaten the funding needed to maintain and develop the national road infrastructure.

“As the number of EVs on the roads goes up and as petrol engines become more efficient we’re going to see a big hole emerging in the fuel tax take, so it’s a really big concern.”

Currently, the maintenance, upgrades, development, and police enforcement of the national highway system is funded from the National Land Transport Fund.

The money used in the fund is derived from the tax levied on the sale of petrol, with approximately NZD 0.50 per litre being diverted to the fund.

Diesel cars also contribute to the fund via an annual tax bill levied at a rate of approximately NZD 0.06 per kilometre driven, as diesel is not subject to the same taxes as petrol.

EVs are currently exempt from the road user charges faced by diesel cars, and they will remain exempt until electric vehicles make up 2 per cent of the national fleet. The 2 per cent threshold is expected to be reached in approximately 2021.

“The exemption is scheduled to be lifted in 2021 which means EV’s will be required to pay road user charges but that won’t solve the issue of vehicles in general becoming more fuel efficient, we’ll still have the problem of the hole in the fuel excise system and the fact is that the fuel excise is the main way that we pay for our transport system and we need to make sure that the system continues to work,” said Irvine.

However, the Ministry of Transport’s principal advisor, Brent Lewers insists there is no cause for concern, adding that the lost revenue will be only a fraction of the country’s total income generated through fuel excise and road-user charges.

“It’s going to balance out, EVs will start paying at the same rate that small diesel vehicles do now and that’s about six cents per kilometre. Broadly people switching between petrol vehicles and non-petrol vehicles doesn’t make any significant difference the numbers are set so that it all comes out to be about the same,” Lewers said.

“At the moment petrol and vehicle users are subsidising EV users, that was part of the electric vehicle set of initiatives that the government announced in May of 2016 which was designed to encourage people to buy more EVs.”

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$3.74 million for new EVs in NZ

More electric vehicles will be on New Zealand’s roads with funding announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan woods today.

Hon Dr Megan Woods

Dr Megan Woods announced a $3.74 million fund for 20 projects in the third round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

“These exciting projects include a 58 tonne fully electric truck to be used by CODA in Hamilton to shuttle Fonterra’s dairy goods to the railway,” Dr Woods said.

“Projects like this are vital to show others in the heavy logistics and transport industry that electric trucks are not only viable but have very low running costs.”

Dr Woods said $1.7m of the funding would help fill gaps in the country’s charging infrastructure.

One project aims to ‘plug the gaps’ in the North Island fast charging infrastructure and will see a fast charger installed at 15 supermarket locations including Kawerau, Matamata, National Park, and Pirongia.

Funding was also going towards tourism opportunities such as electric camper-vans.

“The projects we are funding show there’s an EV for almost every job or use in New Zealand, be it delivering fruit and veg or taking a holiday.”

Also announced was a Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO) project to develop a qualifications framework for technicians working on electric vehicles. Currently, there is no NZQA-registered qualification or national standard for this work.

To read a summary of the successful third round projects Click Here.

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NZ to receive JLR’s financial services

New Zealand will become Jaguar Land Rover’s first import market for their branded financial services product.

Steve Kenchington, general manager of Jaguar Land Rover NZ, said that spikes in demand for their vehicles have paved the way for a new financial package, provided in partnership with Heartland Bank.

Chris Flood, Heartland Bank’s Deputy CEO, says Heartland were delighted to be selected as financial services supplier to Jaguar Land Rover.

“We are proud to partner with Jaguar Land Rover, a strong and iconic brand in the New Zealand marketplace.”

“A key part of Heartland’s strategy is to grow its business through partnering with intermediaries, enabling us to reach more customers at the point of sale. We look forward to working with Jaguar Land Rover and believe our partnership will bring significant value for our mutual customers.”

“Jaguar Land Rover’s local sales have grown substantially over the past five years as new models have been introduced to the range and economic factors such as a strong housing market and an increase in immigration have provided a further boost.

“The introduction of a financial product under our own label was the next evolutionary step as the brand has further matured in the New Zealand market, and complements our existing 5 Year Service Plan sold with every new Jaguar Land Rover model in New Zealand, ” he said.

Customers purchasing a Jaguar Land Rover model under the new product will be given a guaranteed minimum buyback price.

“This means our customers will have further confidence that the vehicle they buy from us today will retain its value until they are ready to trade in, upgrade, refinance, keep or return it, when it reaches that point in its lifecycle.”

Jaguar Financial Services and Land Rover Financial Services will be available in Authorised Retailers from 15th January 2018.

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An impressive year for used passenger vehicles

2017 has been an impressive year for the sales of used imported passenger vehicles.

2017 highlights
In terms of year-on-year sales, there were 165,654 used imported cars registered in 2017, a huge 16,128 units or 10.8 per cent more than the same period in 2016, when 149,526 units were sold.

Toyota cemented its place as the number-one used imported car brand. It sold 41,692 units in 2017 for a market share of 25.2 per cent, Nissan and Mazda were second and third place , respectively with 31,190 and 25,594 units sold, respectively and an 18.8 and 15.5 per cent market share for the past 12 months.

The Nissan Tiida had the most sales for the year, with a total of 7,358 and a market share of 4.4 per cent. The usual culprits were inIn a very close second place, the Mazda Axela ended with a market share for the year of 4.4 percent and 7,319 sales, followed by the Suzuki Swift with 6,958 sales and a market share of 4.2 per cent.

It was also no surprise that the vast majority of used imported cars continued to come from Japan. There were 160,822 used cars imported from Japan during 2017, giving it a market share of 93.8 per cent.

December highlights

December 2017 increased 7.0 per cent on the same month last yearfrom 2016 with 14,102 sales compared to 13,181 in December 2016.

Importers brought in 12,283 used cars from Japan – a 9.9 per cent increase on December 2016. There was a fall in used car imports from Australia and the UK compared to the same month last year. Australia ended December on 435 units, a decrease of 7.4 per cent and the UK with 104 units, a decrease of 48.3 per cent.

The Mazda Demio was the number-one selling used import for December with 637 sales, a 30.8 per cent increase on December 2016’s 487. The Demio outnumbered the Nissan Tiida, who ended on 615 sales, a decrease of 20.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

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Another great year for used commercials

2017 was another great year for used commercial vehicles, with the sector showing an overall healthy increase in registrations.

2017 highlights
In total, 13,032 used commercial vehicles were registered in 2017, a massive 18.8 per cent increase on the previous full year, where 10,967 used commercial imports were registered in New Zealand.

Toyota remained on top with 5,936 registrations during 2017, ending the year with a market share of 45.5 per cent, while its Hiace claimed the biggest market share of all models with 34.3 per cent thanks to 4,465 registrations in this sector.

The Nissan Caravan was runner-up in the models chart with 953 registrations for a 7.3 per cent share of the overall total, while Mazda’s Bongo came third and achieved 728 and 5.6 per cent. Toyota’s Regius finished fourth on 518 units to claim a 4 per cent market share.

Nissan came second on the marques ladder with 2,781 units for a market share of 21.3 per cent, while Mazda finished third with 874 and 6.7 per cent and Isuzu was fourth with 5.2 per cent and 676 units.

Nearly all regions around New Zealand saw gains in 2017. Key highlights were Wellington where 820 vehicles were registered compared to only 524 in 2016, a 56.5 per cent increase and Gisborne nearly doubled from 42 units to 78 units an 85.7 per cent increase.

December highlights
Commercial registrations were down two units to 1044 last month, compared to December 2016’s 1046.

Toyota is again the market leader in the used commercial sector, with 400 units this December and a market share of 38.3 per cent. Nissan and Fiat followed behind, with 204 units and 94 units, respectively.

Out of the main centres, Wellington was the standout, with an increase from 50 units in December 2016 to 67 last month, a rise of 34 per cent. Dunedin jumped 25.7 per cent from 35 to 44 units, and Christchurch gained 10.7 per cent with 124 units last month compared to 112 December 2016.


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Ford Ranger is Kiwi favourite

Ford Ranger is overall best-selling vehicle in 2017, the third year in a row, and best-selling ute for the fourth year in a row.

“It’s a fantastic result for the Ford Ranger – third year in a row as NZ’s overall best-selling vehicle. We’d first of all like to thank our customers for choosing Ford, our great dealer network and of course the engineers that built such a good truck,” said Simon Rutherford, Managing Director Ford New Zealand.

“The engineers certainly continue to get recipe right with the Ranger. Then again they’re from the same company that built the F-150 and that truck is going on its 43rd year at number one. Ford does know a thing or two about making great trucks.”

Customer insight
Ford New Zealand recently conducted a survey of NZ Ranger customers to understand more about why Ranger customers are huge advocates of the car. 

They love their Ford Ranger because it’s a great all-round ute with outstanding driving capability and towing capacity – being the best-seller wasn’t necessarily a factor.

“Being the number one ute certainly gets us excited but for customers it’s more about overall performance, capability and being the best ute for what their lifestyle entails,” said Jeremy Nash, Marketing Manager, Ford New Zealand.

“Overwhelmingly, Ranger drivers love the outdoors. Almost 75 per cent of Ranger customers cited fishing, boating, hunting and general outdoor adventures as among their favourite interests and the Ranger was the best match for those interests.”

The third most popular reason customers chose the Ranger was that it also suited their families, which made the 5 Star Safety rating an important requirement.

“If you took even a brief look around on our roads over Christmas, you would have seen countless ways the Ranger is out there supporting the Kiwi lifestyle – fishing, boating, family road trips, and every other outdoor adventure. That’s what has made the Ranger the Kiwi favourite,” added Nash.


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New Tesla Supercharger

Tesla has expanded its Supercharger Network to allow connected travel between Auckland and Wellington.

The new station at Palmerston North is equipped with four charging bays which are available to use 24/7, where it joins existing Supercharging stations at Taupo and Hamilton.

A Tesla Supercharger can add up to 270 km of range in just 30 minutes of charging.

Superchargers are designed for city to city travel, allowing owners to travel for about three hours, take a quick break, and get back on the road charged up.

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