The New Zealand Government has confirmed a $13.1million investment in electric vehicles, as it progresses towards its pledge to introduce more EVs across its fleet.
In total, the investment covers 422 electric cars across its fleet, including 148 vehicles for the Department of Conservation and 40 vehicles for Kāinga Ora. The investment also covers off the creation of new EV infrastructure at convenient locations for the various benefiting organisations.
It’s unknown what vehicles in particular the investment cover, although it’s known that the government has ties to Audi, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern utilising an e-tron as her ministerial daily driver. It’s also known that the cars will either be plug-in hybrids or outright full EVs.
“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards our goal of carbon neutrality in the public sector within five years. Introducing 422 electric vehicles to the state sector fleet will reduce carbon emissions by around 11,600 tonnes over the next ten years,” said minister of climate change James Shaw.
“The conversion of Government fleets also means more demand for electric vehicles, which will start flowing through into the second-hand market, making electric vehicles more accessible for everyone.”
The funding comes from the government’s $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund, which aims to help progress more agencies towards being carbon neutral by 2025.
“I think if you ask most people working for Government agencies, they’ll tell you that when they When they get back from a day visiting a conservation site benefiting from the Government’s jobs for nature funding, or from seeing a family living in a new Kāinga Ora home, they’d prefer to refuel for the next day with electricity, rather than petrol,” Shaw added.
“Thanks to [this] announcement, this will soon be the case for many more of our essential public sector workers. It will also mean these trips are helping meet the Government’s emission reduction targets.
“Electric vehicles are much better for the climate than those powered by fossil fuels. Over the life of a typical electric vehicle, the emissions comparison with an internal combustion engine isn’t even close. Electric vehicles are also much cheaper to run than petrol cars.”
Time continues to tick on the government’s next moves, with speculation suggesting that it’s likely to side with the climate change commission’s recommendation to announce a ban on the import of new internal combustion engine vehicles — potentially aligning New Zealand with the likes of the UK.