Drive Electric is calling on political parties to do more to accelerate New Zealand’s transition to clean transport, such as increasing the uptake of electric vehicles (EV), ahead of this year’s general election.
The not-for-profit organisation states that both EVs and hybrids have grown to more than a third of new car registrations thanks to the Clean Car Discount, saving the country over $100 million a year in fuel along with two million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the vehicles’ lifetimes. But it’s adamant there’s still more that can be done.
Mark Gilbert, chair of Drive Electric, says that moving to EVs as quickly as possible is the right move for both the environment and the economy.
“It is one of the most cost-effective ways to cut our greenhouse emissions, because it reduces the $9 billion a year New Zealand spends importing oil products from overseas,” he says.
“Drive Electric’s election manifesto calls on political parties to push forward with more bold policies for the decarbonisation of transport. While EV registrations have picked up dramatically, they still only comprise less than 2 per cent of the fleet. There’s much more to be done.”
His first point of call is for the Government to learn from what has already worked in convincing Kiwis to go electric and to keep those policies going (e.g. Clean Car Discount).
“New Zealanders want practical policies that actually reduce emissions and reduce their costs, and the policies in place around EVs are starting to do that job,” Gilbert says.
Secondly, Gilbert says there needs to be more investment made into private and public charging infrastructure, and that barriers need to be lifted for “a range of companies” in the market wanting to invest.
With all do respect, the Government recently unveiled its national EV charging strategy, called Charging Our Future, which involves covering the country in electric car charging hubs.
His final point is that the transition to electric isn’t just limited to cars, but e-bikes and e-scooters too. Gilbert also stated that our bus services should also be electrified along with ferries and commercial vehicles.
“We need well thought through and innovative plans around all these things,” he says.
“The last year has seen New Zealand go from a laggard in EV adoption to a world leader. This election is a chance to go further and reduce emissions and save money. So, let’s take it.”