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250,000 EVs ON THE ROADS BY 2025

Drive Electric calls for next Government to decarbonise road transport

Monday 3rd August, 2020, AUCKLAND: Drive Electric, the not-for-profit with one mission – making electric vehicle ownership in New Zealand mainstream, has today released five key policy platforms for the next Government to adopt in pursuit of the climate change targets set by the Zero Carbon Act.

To meet New Zealand’s climate ambitions we will need to see at least 250,000 new EVs on the roads by 2025, and for this trend to continue through to 2030. Active and public transport will also form an important part of a future transport system that is safe, healthy, accessible, resilient and decarbonised.

To realise a future which embraces e-mobility, Drive Electric has set out five key policy platforms for the next Government to act on. These are:

1. Develop a bi-partisan pathway for the transport sector to deliver New Zealand’s climate change objectives
2. Encourage businesses to purchase EVs for their fleets
3. Government fleets to demonstrate leadership on EV use
4. Make New Zealand a globally attractive market for EVs
5. Encourage New Zealanders to move to EVs

*details on each of these actions is available in a separate policy document

Drive Electric’s membership represents the entire e-mobility ecosystem, including electricity companies, automotive manufacturers, and finance companies. These policies were devised by these members, supported by key stakeholders and external experts, including investment consultant Dr Paul Winton, economist Shamubeel Eaqub, and sustainability consultant James Walker.

Mark Gilbert, Drive Electric Chairman says, “New Zealand must reduce emissions by around 60% by 2030 to stay within 1.5 degrees of warming, the target contained in the Zero Carbon Act. Road transport is the second largest source of emissions in New Zealand.

“In New Zealand the light fleet constitutes more than 90 per cent of the travel on New Zealand roads. Therefore, e-mobility is an essential part of our transport future, and New Zealand is ideally suited given our high proportion of renewable energy. We need a bi-partisan target and pathway to create certainty and guide the investment in e-mobility.

“It is fair to New Zealanders to be upfront about the changes that are happening when it comes to cars. For many people a car is their first or second biggest asset. With emissions targets that need to be met, and automotive technology shifting towards emissions-free, the time is now to plan for a future New Zealand that embraces e-mobility.

“There are many advantages to this, New Zealand will be less reliant on foreign oil, there will be a reduction of air pollution and over time families will save money spent on fuel and operating costs of vehicles. We will also avoid becoming a dumping ground for secondhand fossil fuel vehicles, as other countries move towards emissions-free vehicles.”

Dr Paul Winton, founder of the climate action group the 1.5 Project says of the target, “Reaching 250,000 EVs in the fleet by 2025 is a realistic prospect. If New Zealand was to achieve EV adoption rates similar to what Norway has today for new-to-fleet vehicles by 2025, this would result in 250,000 EV in the light fleet.

“The transition for New Zealand will be easier than when Norway started ten years ago. EVs are becoming less expensive and more capable. By 2025 there will be no clear reason for consumers or businesses not to buy EVs. To buy a petrol or diesel vehicle in 2025, would be to buy a car that is more expensive at the outset, more expensive to run and repair, has a shorter lifespan, performs worse, with higher emissions.”

The call to action has been sent to all political parties ahead of the election. Drive Electric is committed to working with the next Government and the opposition to make this transition a reality.