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A deep dive into the driving habits on NZ’s PHEV community

27 January 2023

Plugged in and on the road: A deep dive into the driving and charging habits of New Zealand's PHEV community

The trend of PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) vehicles in New Zealand has been rising. With increasing concern over climate change and air pollution, as well as government incentives and subsidies for purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles, more and more Kiwis are turning to advanced technology.

PHEVs are particularly attractive because they offer the benefits of both traditional gasoline-powered cars and fully electric vehicles. The ability to travel long distances without the need for recharging while using clean, renewable electricity for shorter trips is an appealing factor to the PHEVs that Kiwis are keen to take advantage of. 


In December 2022, Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand conducted a survey to better understand how customers charge their PHEVs. 

The results provide valuable insights into the charging habits and preferences of PHEV owners in New Zealand. The survey was conducted online and received responses from a total of 648 customers. This represents a significant data pool and is likely to be one of the largest surveys conducted in New Zealand on this topic.

This blog reveals the findings of this survey by answering the following questions:

  • Which PHEV Vehicles Are Most Popular?
  • How Often Do PHEV Vehicles Need Charging?
  • When and Where Can PHEV Vehicles Be Charged?
  • What About PHEV Charging Outside The Home?
  • Do PHEV Owners Rely on Fast Charging?


Which PHEV Vehicles Are Most Popular?



Among those surveyed, the most popular vehicle was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (56% of respondents) with the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV coming in second place (44% of respondents).


How Often Do PHEV Vehicles Need Charging?


If you are considering purchasing a PHEV vehicle, you may be wondering how charging will fit in with your busy lifestyle.  

The good news is that the ability to charge at home makes charging easy and convenient. Due to this convenience, survey respondents reveal that 83% of owners charge their vehicles over three times a week, with the majority of owners charging their PHEV every day.


When and Where Can PHEV Vehicles Be Charged?


PHEV vehicles can be charged conveniently at home to suit most people’s lifestyles. Of those surveyed, 95% of respondents charged their PHEVs primarily at home, with  only 6% installing a third-party wall-mounted charger. The most popular brands were Evnex and Wallbox, which offer various charging options, including the ability to charge at faster speeds.

When it comes to charging at home, most respondents (79%) primarily charged their PHEVs overnight.


What About PHEV Charging Outside The Home?


The majority of respondents were infrequent users of public charge stations, with more than a half of respondents never using them. With most people charging at home, it appears public charging stations are not a key part of the majority of PHEV owners’ day-to-day use.

In saying that, public charging infrastructure is still a crucial aspect in the growth of the EV market as it allows EV owners to travel further distances. In the case of the PHEV vehicle, the combustion engine provides the added benefit of being able to drive long distances without charging.


Do PHEV Owners Rely on Fast Charging?


In terms of fast charging, 47% of respondents stated that the fast charge option on their PHEV was not an important feature to them. This may be due to the fact that many PHEV owners charge their vehicles conveniently at home and do not need to rely on fast charging stations. 


New Adoption of PHEVs


The majority (87%) of respondents stated that they had not previously owned a PHEV or other EV/PHEV/Hybrid vehicle, while 13% had. This shows a large rise in the adoption of the new technology, and with it, we can expect a growing awareness amongst owners of the best ways to charge and maintain PHEV vehicles.

The top brands among repurchasers were Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Tesla.


What Do The Results Suggest for The Future of PHEVs in New Zealand?

The survey results provide valuable insight into the charging habits and preferences of PHEV owners in New Zealand. We can see that PHEV vehicles are becoming a convenient and popular option amongst consumers.

While an increase in public charging infrastructure is a crucial aspect of the growth of the EV market, consumers of the PHEV vehicle can enjoy peace of mind knowing they can travel longer distances with a fuel-efficient combustion engine. 


The survey revealed that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the most popular model among respondents, with most purchasers transitioning to this new technology for the first time. 

As more people become aware of the benefits of PHEV vehicles, we expect to see a continued trend towards cleaner, more efficient vehicles in New Zealand. 

If you are considering switching to a PHEV vehicle, you can view the full range on our website.


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