Nearly all Kiwis driving electric vehicles (EVs) today wouldn't go back to petrol, a new survey suggests.

The finding comes from Flip the Fleet, a citizen science project canvassing the views of hundreds of EV and plug-in hybrid owners across New Zealand.

Ninety-one percent of 276 electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid owners said they would "definitely" or "probably" buy electric if they ever bought another car.

A further seven per cent were unsure, and just two per cent were unlikely to buy another electric vehicle – mainly because they wanted to retain a mix of electric and conventional vehicles at home for tasks like towing.


Many families mostly drove EVs to save money and to help the environment, but still kept petrol or diesel vehicles for lengthy trips or specialist jobs.

"Asking whether an EV owner would make the same choice again is the acid test of whether they work for New Zealanders in their everyday lives," Flip the Fleet spokesman Martin Kane said.

"Our latest survey shows that nine out of every 10 current owners love their cars."

Over a quarter of the respondents highlighted cost and affordability as their primary reason for going electric, with one commenting, "with solar power installed I would not consider anything but fully electric at less than one cent per km".

Another stated: "After buying one I would not go back to [an internal combustion engine] vehicle due to lower running costs. The longer I use it, the more I love it."

Flip the Fleet data suggested it was, on average, five times cheaper to "fuel" an EV with electricity compared to paying for petrol or diesel in a similar-sized combustion vehicle.

Other respondents indicated that they would continue purchasing EVs out of concern for the environment.

"Doing their bit for the planet makes the owners feel good," Kane said.


"It's a practical contribution that many families and small businesses can take."

This month, the Government and its commercial and not-for-profit partners announced an $8 million investment across 20 projects aimed at getting 64,000 EVs on the road by 2021.

The New Zealand Transport Agency also this month issued a pre-tender notice to gather market intelligence for nationwide EV charging infrastructure as it seeks to add more of the vehicles to its own fleet.