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Electric target ‘possible’

Government aiming for 30% of light-vehicle fleet to be electric by 2035 in Emissions Reduction Plan “will take a lot of doing”.
Posted on 13 October, 2021
Electric target ‘possible’

Drive Electric says the government’s consultation on its package of emissions-reductions policies is another sign that e-mobility will be the future of vehicles in New Zealand.

Chairman Mark Gilbert says a proposal for 30 per cent of the light fleet to be electric by 2035 “will take a lot of doing, but it’s possible, and for the climate definitely preferable”.

He adds: “We’re already seeing a surge in EV purchases in New Zealand on the back of the clean car discount. 

“In September, while most of New Zealand was locked down, 2,282 EVs were registered. This was the highest month of all time, achieving approximately 12.5 per cent of the monthly sales.”

Gilbert, pictured, notes the UK, which is a right-hand-drive market, is well-ahead and shows New Zealand what’s possible. 

“They have more than 150 models – HEVs, BEVs and PHEVs – on the market right now in the UK. Plug-in sales in September were 21.7 per cent of the market.

“To achieve these numbers and more, we will need supporting policies many of which we have advocated for and are listed in the consultation document. 

“Sure, more detail is needed, but the ambition is there and progress has started. We are particularly pleased to see a national charging infrastructure plan on the list and understand work is under way.

“When taken together, we are starting to send signals to the global automotive industry that New Zealand is serious about electrification. That’s how we will get a supply of these vehicles.”

Gilbert notes the faster the country can get a comprehensive plan in place, the faster the confidence of importers and consumers is built up. 

“Let’s hope Australian importers that influence the models available in New Zealand wake up and smell the electricity.

“We can never forget New Zealand is a technology taker when it comes to vehicles. That said, the global industry is on a rapid transformation. Billions are being invested in producing EVs.

Brands such as VW, Audi, Hyundai, BMW, Daimler, Honda, GM, Volvo, Ford [Europe] are committing to joining Tesla as all-EV.”

While e-mobility is one part of a decarbonised transport system in New Zealand, Drive Electric adds more public transport, cleaner fuels and transport as a service are all needed if emissions are to be slashed.

“We will be engaging our members on the package of policies over the next few weeks and submitting,” says Gilbert. “But be very clear. The future for vehicles in New Zealand is electric.”

About Drive Electric 

Drive Electric is a not-for-profit membership organisation with one goal, and that’s mainstreaming e-mobility to support New Zealand’s low-carbon future.

It was established in 2011. Since then, has become “the leading voice on e-mobility uptake in New Zealand. We are an independent, apolitical voice, which is energy agnostic”.

Drive Electric has a membership of more than leading organisations representing the convergence of the e-mobility ecosystem – finance, automotive, infrastructure, energy and government. 

They include ABB NZ, ACEV, Arup, Audi, Autolink, Baker Tilly Staples Rodway, Bentley, Beyond Clarity, BMW NZ, ChargeNet, ChargeSmart, Contact Energy, Custom Fleet, Critchlow Geospatial, EECA, Electrify, Evnex, FleetPartners, Ford, Giltrap Group, Go Rentals, GVI Electric, Hyundai, IntDevice, Jaguar and Kings Plant Barn.

Others are Lamborghini, Land Rover, LeasePlan, Lexus, Maritime EV, Mercury, Meridian Energy, Mitsubishi Motors NZ, Mevo, Nissan, Orix, Peugeot, Porsche, PowerCo, Renault, Retyna, SG Fleet, Singer Electrical, Skoda, Smartrak, Spartan, STILL, Tesla, THL, Toyota, Unison, Vector, VIA, Volvo, Volkswagen, Waste Management, Wedgewood White, Westpac NZ, YHI, Zilch and Zurich Insurance.