Mitsubishi Wairarapa sales rep Brent Cooper showing the Mitsubishi Outlander four-wheel drive hybrid plug-in. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

KAREN COLTMAN

karen.coltman@age.co.nz

Wairarapa sales of new electric cars have quadrupled since last year.

Three were sold last year and 13 have already been sold this year.

Sales of hybrids [petrol and electric combination] are also up on last year going from five to seven so far.

Business development manager of Eastwood Motor Group Aaron Pinkham said sales of electrics had gone up year on year.

He said people were becoming “more conscious of the environment”, and that the adoption of electric vehicles had increased nationwide.

“We have the popular Hyundai Kona and Ioniq EV,” Pinkham said.

“For us the trend has been 100 per cent to the fully electric range.

“Customers love the performance and handling, and now that newer models have a range of over 400km before charging up, anxiety has disappeared.

“September increased sales on the previous month, and we are up on last year too.”

Wairarapa Mitsubishi stock the most popular hybrid and are looking to bring in fully electric powered vehicles.

“We’re bringing in electric, but Mitsubishi were looking for a better price and quality before getting it here,” sales representative Brent Cooper said.

“We had the electric vehicles 10 years ago but found hybrids were better for us until charge storage improved.

“The current hybrids are top quality vehicles and suit the Wairarapa environment.

“We’ve sold five Outlanders this year. They’re a four-wheel drive, high off the ground so good for around here.”

Motor Vehicle Association figures released for September showed 500 sales of pure electric vehicles during the month and a further 105 sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

For the first time, registrations of electric vehicles broke into the top three passenger SUV models sold within the month.

Current Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson drives the council’s Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle purchased in February last year.

The council plans to move to an electric fleet when the pool vehicles are replaced.

There is a charging station at Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth Park, Paua World in Carterton and at Featherston SuperValue.

South Wairarapa District Council is working with Genesis Energy and Pain and Kershaw to install an electric vehicle charging station in Martinborough.