May 5, 2016 at 5:38 pm #12646
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The Government has announced a wide-ranging package of measures aimed at getting more Kiwis driving electric cars.
It aims to have 64,000 electric vehicles in use in New Zealand by 2021.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges said it was clear to the Government that electric vehicles were the future.
“A move from petrol and diesel to low-emission transport is a natural evolution, and it is our aim to encourage that switch sooner, rather than later,” he said.
The Government’s package aims to work closely with the private sector and local government to remove barriers it says are preventing Kiwi households and businesses from using electric vehicles.
Those barriers include the limited selection of models available, a lack of widespread charging infrastructure, and a lack of awareness about electric vehicles.
The package introduces a range of incentives to encourage Kiwi households and businesses to buy electric vehicles.
Both light and heavy electric vehicles will be removed from Road User Charges until they make two per cent of the national fleet. Bridges said the average electric vehicle owner could save $600 per year in road user charges alone.
They would also save money in fuel costs – charging an electric car was the equivalent of buying petrol at 30 cents per litre, he said.
Electric vehicles could also be allowed in bus lanes and carpool lanes.
Bridges said New Zealand was the most electric vehicle-ready country in the world.
“Electric vehicles will maximise New Zealand’s renewable advantage, with more than 80 per cent 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.”
“If we start to replace New Zealand’s fleet with electric vehicles, we can begin to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”
Mighty River Power chief executive Fraser Whineray said New Zealand had enough power capacity in New Zealand to “drive every single car as electric”.
The grid had “plenty of capacity” to absorb the government’s plug-in electric vehicle target, he said.
“64,000 cars is just one fifth of our new Ngatamariki geothermal power station’s output.”
The Government and the private sector will investigate the bulk purchase of electric vehicles.
The Government has pledged $1 million per year for five years to promote electric vehicles nation-wide. A contestable fund of up to $6 million per year will encourage and support the innovative electric vehicle projects.
Government agencies will coordinate and support the roll out of public charging infrastructure.
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