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Media release 
28th January 2021 


– Emissions import standards announcement a sign that 2021 will be the year we get serious about cleaning up our cars –

Thursday 28th January, AUCKLAND: Drive Electric, the not-for-profit with one mission – making electric vehicle uptake in New Zealand mainstream, welcomes the announcement by the Government today as a sign of what’s to come through 2021, and we are confident that New Zealand can show leadership and have coordinated transition away from fossil fuel vehicles.

Mark Gilbert, Chair of Drive Electric 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.”

“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.

“As the Prime Minister and Minister Wood indicated this morning to achieve our ambitions, much more will need to be done in transport. This is especially the case, because our transport emissions continue to rise.

“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 United Kingdom.

“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 coordination among all the players through the EV ecosystem – from the grids, to electricity retailers, to car importers, Councils and property developers.

“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 1 February 2021, we will see the case for decarbonising transport made starkly clear, and the need for a coordinated plan.

“We welcome this announcement by the Prime Minister and Minister Wood to introduce a Clean Car Import Standard as a first step towards decarbonising the light fleet.”

For more information, contact:

Drive Electric Chairman, Mark Gilbert, 021 972 244