– By Caroline Falls –
Drive Electric NZ has written to all political parties ahead of the country’s election in October to stimulate the take up of to 250,000 EV’s on the roads by 2025, and allow fewer petrol and diesel vehicles to come into the country.
It’s currently estimated that just one percent of the national government’s 16,000 passenger vehicles, is electric. Drive Electric, a not-for-profit with one goal — to advance EVs in NZ — wants to see government moving its entire fleet to electric by 2025, and the national proportion of EVs grow to 30-40 percent by 2030.
“New Zealand doesn’t have an agreed plan to accelerate uptake of EVs yet. Let’s see in six weeks time after the election,” said Mark Lusis, a board member of Drive Electric NZ, and sustainability head of design and engineering consultancy ARUP in Auckland.
Jacinda Ardern, leader of the country’s Labour Party, is presently prime minister of a coalition government — Labour Party, Green Party and New Zealand First Party. According to polls, Ardern is forecast to win with a commanding majority for the Labour Party. Such a win would remove some of the political constraints against tax incentives and other policies as part of a bigger push towards electric vehicles.
Drive Electric, in its pro-EV policy document sent, set out five key policy platforms for the next NZ government to act on:
- Develop a bi-partisan pathway for the transport sector to deliver New Zealand’s climate change objectives
- Encourage businesses to purchase EVs for their fleets
- Government fleets to demonstrate leadership on EV use
- Make New Zealand a globally attractive market for EVs
- Encourage New Zealanders to move to EVs.
The document notes that the transport sector is the second biggest source of carbon emissions in the country and that in order to meet the goals set in the Zero Carbon Act enacted in November last year, e-mobility will be essential.
“The transition for New Zealand will be easier than when Norway started 10 years ago,” said Dr Paul Winton, founder of the climate-action group named 1.5 Project, and an external expert with input to Drive Electric’s latest strategic policy document.
“EVs are becoming less expensive and more capable. By 2025 there will be no clear reason for consumers or businesses not to buy EVs. To buy a petrol or diesel vehicle in 2025, would be to buy a car that is more expensive at the outset, more expensive to run and repair, has a shorter lifespan, performs worse, with higher emissions.”
In a conversation with Fleet Auto News, Lusis was optimistic about the future, saying the country has natural advantages for EV adoption, including a good charging infrastructure and more than 80 percent of electricity sourced from renewables, including geothermal and hydro.
is building a national network of charging stations. According to its website, the ChargeNet network it currently has more than 185 rapid DC charging locations and more than 120 AC chargers open throughout New Zealand.
— Caroline Falls is a regular contributor to Fleet Auto News. She is a freelance journalist, writing for Australian and international business publications. She can be contacted at email@example.com