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EECA introduces efficiency labels for electric cars

They've been around since 2008 so it's common enough to see fuel economy labels on new petrol or diesel-powered vehicles. But ever seen a similar label for electric vehicles? In a move that bodes well for the growth of the electric car market, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has introduced the electric vehicle label, giving consumers independent, comparative information on the efficiency and running costs of vehicles.     

The EECA said New Zealand’s low commuting distances, ability to fully charge cars overnight, and prevalence of home garages with suitable charging points means a complex infrastructure is not needed for people to start using the cars. 

“The label is another practical step to encourage uptake of electric cars in New Zealand, and as more models become available on the New Zealand market we expect to see the upfront costs come down,” said EECA chief executive Mike Underhill. 

The label has already put the first mass-produced electric car to be available for retail sale in New Zealand to the test, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. So how did it perform? It’ll cost you just $280 a year on average to run the vehicle, the equivalent to paying just 26 cents a litre at the petrol pump. 

The label is a positive step forward, but with the market graced by only a few electric models so far, it remains only voluntary at this stage. Both fuel economy labels and electric vehicle labels are generated online through www.fuelsaver.govt.nz.