Driving the switch to electric vehicles

Conservation
Friday, May 6, 2016

As a country, we pride ourselves on our clean, green and renewable image.

That’s why last week the Government announced its Electric Vehicles programme, an ambitious and wide ranging package of measures that will remove barriers and accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand.
New Zealand is the ideal environment for electric vehicles for a number of reasons.

Electric vehicles will maximise New Zealand’s renewable advantage, with more than 80% of the country’s electricity coming from hydro, geothermal and wind. The increased use of electric vehicles will replace petrol and diesel with clean, green, locally produced energy.

The benefits of increasing the uptake of electric vehicles are far-reaching. They’re cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles, they’re powered by our abundant renewable electricity supply, and they’ll reduce the amount of emissions that come from the country’s vehicle fleet

What we’ve come up with is a strong package of measures that is ambitious and has real substance.

By 2021 we aim to have around 64,000 electric vehicles on New Zealand roads. To assist us in reaching this target, the package includes a contestable fund of up to $6 million per year to encourage and support innovative low emission vehicle projects. An annual fund of $1 million will also be included to contribute towards a nation-wide electric vehicle information and promotion campaign over five years.

A new Road User Charges exemption for heavy electric vehicles and an extension of the Road User Charges exemption on light electric vehicles also feature in this package. Both will remain in place until electric vehicles make up two percent of the heavy and light vehicle fleet, with savings of $600 a year for the average light vehicle owners and much cheaper operating costs.

Another feature of the Government’s package includes allowing electric vehicles in bus lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the State Highway network and local roads.

Government agencies will also be coordinating activities to support the development and roll-out of public charging infrastructure, including providing information and guidance.

If we start now on the replacement of New Zealand’s fleet with electric vehicles, we can begin to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Further information on the Government’s Electric Vehicles Programme is available here:  ev transport