Not any more. The first fully electric, plug-in cars are about to hit New Zealand's streets and their performance is likely to turn the heads of even the biggest sceptic.
In November, Hyundai will become the first local car manufacturer to offer a zero-emission, electric car.
The cars will be retro-fitted locally, meaning their electric motors will be fitted after the petrol or diesel engine they arrive with, is taken out.
It is a version of the car that can be plugged in beside the toaster at home with no special plug required and the amount of electricity required to fully charge its batteries will not be too much more than using that toaster.
It costs about $2 per hundred km to run and has zero emissions.
So, what's the catch? The electric vehicle has the same acceleration and power as its petrol or diesel equivalent but it does have a lower top speed of around 120kph.
Power steering, air con, tow bar, air bags all come as standard features.
The battery costs around $3000 to replace, but only needs replacing about 3very eight years and they are fully recyclable.
The only real catch is the car's range and battery charge time.
It has a range of 120 km and a quick charge of anywhere between 1.5 and 3 hours which gives you 80% of battery life or about another 90km so it is perfect for the city commuter, but long distance is out of the question.
The cars cost around $40,000 NZ Dollars.