In May 2016, the Minister of Transport announced a package of measures to increase the uptake of EVs in New Zealand to remove barriers that have prevented households and business from choosing EVs.
Current barriers to EV uptake include the limited selection of models available; a lack of widespread public charging infrastructure; and lack of awareness about EVs. The benefits of increasing EV uptake are far-reaching - they are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles, they are powered by New Zealand’s abundant renewable electricity supply, and will reduce the emissions that come from the country’s vehicle fleet.
The Electric Vehicles Programme includes:
A target of doubling the number of electric vehicles in New Zealand every year to reach approximately 64,000 by 2021;
Extending the Road User Charges exemption on light electric vehicles until they make up two percent of the light vehicle fleet;
A new Road User Charges exemption for heavy electric vehicles until they make up two percent of the heavy vehicle fleet;
Work across Government and the private sector to investigate the bulk purchase of electric vehicles;
Government agencies coordinating activities to support the development and roll-out of public charging infrastructure including providing information and guidance;
$1 million annually for a nation-wide electric vehicle information and promotion campaign over five years;
A contestable fund of up to $6 million per year to encourage and support innovative low emission vehicle projects;
Allowing electric vehicles in bus lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the State Highway network and local roads;
Review of tax depreciation rates and the method for calculating fringe benefit tax for electric vehicles to ensure electric vehicles are not being unfairly disadvantaged; and
Establishing an electric vehicles leadership group across business, local and central government.
The package aims to address barriers to the uptake of electric vehicles, including the limited supply of models in New Zealand, lack of awareness and misconceptions about electric vehicles, and a lack of widespread public charging infrastructure.
A number of agencies (namely Ministry of Transport, NZTA, Worksafe New Zealand, and MBIE) are involved in delivering this programme. EECA’s responsibility is to deliver two of the programmes - an information campaign and the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, which had around 80 applications seeking co-funding of $27 million in the first round. Fifteen successful applicants received funding and the second round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund has opened with up to $3 million available. It is open until 26 April, 2017. The information campaign aims to promote EVs and overcome information barriers. Recent actions include launching a new EV webportal (www.electricvehicles.govt.nz)and EV television advertising.