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EV advocate hails plans to cut emissions

Clean-car standard tipped to boost the number of EVs in our new and used vehicle markets.
Posted on 28 January, 2021
EV advocate hails plans to cut emissions

Drive Electric has welcomed the government’s latest push to cut transport emissions as a “first step towards managing a transition away from fossil fuel vehicles”.

The not-for-profit advocacy group is keen to increase the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and says the clean-car standards being proposed by the government will help achieve that.

Mark Gilbert, chairman, says: “The standards being proposed for 2025 have already been met in other comparable markets, like the EU and Japan, and must be achievable here.

“The standard is a useful tool in that it asks importers to look at the portfolio of vehicles they are importing, which should increase low-emissions choice across a range of vehicle types and price points. With more EVs coming into New Zealand, this also increases the second-hand market over time.

“That said, such a standard is really just a first step towards managing a transition away from fossil fuel vehicles and towards no-emissions vehicles.”

The government is proposing to introduce laws that will bring carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the average light vehicle in New Zealand down from about 171g/km to 105g/km for new vehicles by 2025.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says ministers are also looking at a feebate scheme, which would make cleaner cars cheaper and higher-emitters more expensive, and mandating a lower-emitting biofuel blend across the industry.

Gilbert, pictured, says as transport emissions continue to rise the government is right to consider a range of options to help tackle the problem.

“To meet New Zealand’s legislated climate ambitions, to keep warming within 1.5 degrees celsius, our analysis shows we need to aim for at least 250,000 EVs on the roads by 2025, and for this trend to continue through to 2030,” he explains.

“Firstly, we should look at announcing a date by which we end the importation of fossil fuel vehicles into New Zealand, entirely. This has been done in many other markets around the world, including the UK.

“To support such ambition, we need a joint plan between the government and industry to ensure we have the right package of policy settings, the necessary investment in charging infrastructure, and co-ordination among all the players through the EV ecosystem.

“Policies that need to be considered include incentives, adjustments to fringe benefit taxes and depreciation, and investment to ensure we are ready for more at-home charging and public charging.

“We are confident that when the Climate Change Commission announces their draft budgets on February 1, 2021, we will see the case for decarbonising transport made starkly clear, and the need for a co-ordinated plan.”