TOYOTA New Zealand Moves to Electric Vehicles

Toyota is entering the electric vehicle market in New Zealand – but with used cars, not new.

Toyota NZ has begun purchasing low-mileage three-year old third-generation plug-in Prius vehicles in Japan, putting them through its Signature Class used vehicle refurbishment process at Thames, then offering them on the Kiwi market with prices between $35,000 and $40,000.

The company it is importing the plug-in Prius because new EVs are too expensive.

The used plug-in Prius cars have already started arriving, and at Thames they are being fitted with local audio and reverse parking camera, the dashboards are being converted from Japanese to English, and the owner’s manual is being replaced with an English language version. The cars, which will be sold through six selected Toyota dealers, will have a five-year warranty including replacement battery cover.

TNZ trialled the plug-in version of the Prius in New Zealand for several years, but was unable to get its price down to a level reasonable enough to warrant its sale as a new car. When the fourth-generation Prius was launched, the company was unable to access a plug-in version anyway.

He adds that TNZ is interested in importing Toyota’s latest plug-in, the Prius Prime, which launches in USA later this year.

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