The Government’s gotten itself in a pickle over its electric vehicle (EV) rebate scheme.

Unnecessarily, I would argue.

The issue is whether those whose work necessitates the use of utes — farmers and tradies in particular — should be ‘penalised’ (as they see it) by levies on their vehicles, which tend to rank high in terms of fuel use and emissions, with the rebates going to subsidise ‘normal’ auto users who have numerous EV options.

It is true that today the Uters (ute-users) haven’t a real choice in terms of an EV that can meet their heavy-duty needs. But in fact, they soon will. The truck world is quickly changing.

Recently I wrote at length — Ford trucks on — about the just announced Ford F-150 Lightning, an EV/pick-up truck that outperforms any ute/pick-up now on the road on New Zealand (and Ford manufactures most of those) — all-wheel drive at all times, 230 mile (370kms) and 300 mile (482kms) battery options, full charge overnight, tows 10,000 pounds (4.5 tonnes), hits 96km/hr in 4.5 seconds. Can even power your home for 3-10 days in an emergency. Would sell for about NZ$55k.

Ford sells more pick-up trucks in New Zealand and the world by far than any other manufacturer. It has ‘bet the farm’ on this EV-ute … so soon our Uters will have a super choice. And then soon thereafter they won’t have a choice, because Ford (and others) will cease producing petrol/diesel trucks, full stop.

So yes, Jacinda erred in claiming Toyota has a suitable EV truck. They don’t. Too bad for them.

But Ford does. They go on sale next May, and already 100,000 orders have been placed.

Jacinda, place an order today from NZ for 100 Ford-150 Lightnings. It will only cost $10k to reserve 100 vehicles for delivery next year.

Buy them for the Government fleet. Or have a contest next year and award them to the 100 farmers and tradies who make the best case as to why they deserve one.

Just get them here as fast as you can. Uters will love you.

Join the Conversation

8 Comments

  1. Tom,

    Please be careful about any of the “full charge overnight” statements. For farmers with three phase power to their milking sheds, maybe, at an additional cost of say $5 to 8k for a fast charger installation. For the average NZ house wiring installation it is just not technically feasible. At best, a NZ house might be wired such that 7.4kW charger could be installed, but even then wiring changes would most likely be necessary to provide for a separate feed, protected by a 32 amp circuit breaker, to the point where a fast charger will be installed. A 7.4kW charger is not particularly fast. It can only deliver 74kWhr to your battery over a 10 hour period. Compare that with the charge required to fully charge your battery.

    There is a lot of unsound comment on the charging infrastructure upgrades that are going to be necessary for a significant penetration of EVs into the NZ economy.

  2. Tom, it’s my fervent hope that Ford does bring them here. However, in speaking to a Ford rep at Fieldays, he said that it most likely wouldn’t happen for a while, as there are no right-hand drive options available right now. Having said that, I imagine many Farmers would be aware of the E-F150 by now and will be rapid-firing questions at Ford, so they will get the message loud and clear that sooner would be better than later. I think it behoves ute manufacturers to get a move-on with E-utes, as sales and orders will plummet post-introduction of the new rules. On a slightly cheeky note, how many farmers will need new top of the line Rangers or HiLuxes for farm work? Most utes these days are not really suitable for farm work (double-cab, leather seats, all the bells and whistles, road tyres), unless towing the trailer with quad to town for repair or service, as the well deck is too small to carry anything much larger than a few hay bales or fencing tools. Or the boat to the bach at the beach? Brian does have a point re charging equipment though – might need an upgrade to the electricity supplies to farms, but the costs should be recouped fairly quickly with the savings on fuel.

  3. “Ford sells more pick-up trucks in New Zealand and the world by far than any other manufacturer.”
    What a false statement!!!!! Other countries sell way more Ford pick ups than New Zealand does. NZ is a blip on the map and only a population of a large city in some countries!

    1. Ed,
      You are misinterpreting the comment.
      Ford is top seller of pick-up trucks in the world.
      Ford is also the top seller of pick-up trucks in NZ (‘utes’ in NZ).
      Ford is also the top seller of pick-up trucks in the US …
      And the list could go on and on.

  4. Why would you suggest that the F150 Lightning is a suitable replacement for the average Kiwi crew cab ute?You only have to look at the size of this behemoth to realise that, if they were to replace all the new utes sold in NZ, we would quickly run out of road space….. it’s already a pain negotiating the roads with “normal” sized utes clogging them up without increasing their footprint by almost 50%.
    Many utes are used by tradies for their practicality and load hauling, you need a step ladder to access the load tray on the average American “full sized” truck.
    If ford want to access the burgeoning electric ute market, they need to make scale the tech to fit into the chassis size the rest of the world accept as reasonable such as the European, Asian and Australasian market utes.

    1. Hmmm. With all these flaws, why is Ford the best selling maker of pick-ups in NZ … the US … the world?

  5. Ford is best seller.Because there is now more Utes on the road for image reasons, 4door (passenger market) . Than 2 door Comercial Utility Vehicles , favored by Farmers and tradespeople.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *