New Zealand’s Automotive Industry and the Impact of Climate Change


New Zealand’s Automotive Industry and the Impact of Climate Change

The New Zealand automotive industry is an important sector of the economy, providing employment for thousands of people in both urban and rural areas. The industry is also central to the nation’s transport system, supplying vehicles and services to meet the needs of consumers and businesses. However, the industry faces a growing challenge from climate change, with rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns leading to rising petrol prices, tougher emissions standards and a shift towards electric vehicles.

Rising Fuel Prices

Climate change has already had an impact on petrol prices in New Zealand. In recent years, fuel taxes have increased significantly, resulting in increased costs for consumers. This trend is expected to continue as the government attempts to reduce emissions from the transport sector, leading to further increases in petrol prices.

At the same time, the cost of electric vehicles is falling. With improvements in battery technology, electric vehicles are becoming a more viable option for many drivers. This means that the cost benefits of electric vehicles over petrol-powered cars are likely to increase in the future, leading to a further shift away from petrol-powered cars.

Tougher Emissions Standards

The government has set increasingly stringent emissions standards for new cars and light vans, with tougher standards due to come into effect in 2021. This will mean that any new cars and light vans must meet the latest emissions standards before they can be sold or imported into New Zealand.

These tougher emissions standards will mean that petrol-powered cars and vans will become more expensive to buy and maintain. At the same time, electric cars and vans are becoming increasingly affordable, with some models now available for the same price as petrol-powered equivalents. This means that electric vehicles are increasingly becoming a viable option for those looking to buy a new car.

Shift Towards Electric Vehicles

As a result of the rising fuel prices and tougher emissions standards, there is a growing shift towards electric vehicles in New Zealand. This shift is being driven by increased consumer demand for greener, more efficient vehicles.

The government is also taking action to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles. For example, the government has announced that it will provide grants to support the roll-out of charge points for electric vehicles. The government is also providing incentives for companies that purchase electric vehicles, such as zero-emission vehicle fleet grants.


The automotive industry in New Zealand is facing increasingly challenging times due to the impact of climate change. Rising petrol prices, tougher emissions standards and a shift towards electric vehicles will all have an impact on the industry.

However, there are opportunities for the industry to embrace the changing environment. Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and the government is taking action to support the roll-out of electric vehicles. For companies operating within the industry, this presents an opportunity to invest in electric vehicles and to take advantage of government incentives.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rising fuel prices due to increasing taxes and emissions standards will contribute to the rising cost of petrol-powered vehicles.
  • Tougher emissions standards mean that petrol-powered cars and vans will become more expensive.
  • Shift towards electric vehicles due to increased consumer demand and government incentives.

New Zealand’s automotive industry will face a challenging future due to the impact of climate change. However, with the right strategies in place, the industry can take advantage of the changing environment and embrace the shift towards electric vehicles.