Saturday, June 15, 2024

Government supports more low emission vehicle options

The Government is working to clean up how New Zealanders get around, with approval for 22 new low-emission transport projects announced by the Energy and Resources Minister, Megan Woods today.

A community electric bike and car share scheme, additional EV charging stations, as well as five hydrogen trucks and a demonstration electric truck, are some of the latest projects to get Government co-funding.

“The Climate Change Commission’s recently-released draft report rightly points out how crucial reducing transport emissions is to meeting our climate change goals. It shows we are on the right track by supporting the uptake of cleaner technologies,” Dr Woods said.

The Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund (LEVCF) will contribute $3.7 million to the projects, with the 22 recipients contributing a total of $9.4 million. The fund is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).  

Projects include Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust’s initiative, which is giving its tenants the opportunity to share, rather than own transport through: 

  • secure e-bike storage for a community bike share for its tenants (the Trust is funding the bikes itself), and 
  • two second-hand Nissan Leafs for a community car share scheme.

Fuso and Hyundai Motors New Zealand secured funding for both electric and hydrogen demonstration trucks, respectively.

Dr Woods noted that the spread of projects showed the fund’s reach across the transport sector.

“Demonstrating and proving the potential for electric and hydrogen heavy vehicles is important, as heavy freight has an outsized impact on transport emissions,” she said. 

“At the same time, we need to enable people to get around, and the Ōtautahi Trust projects will demonstrate a community and people-first approach that shows you can reduce the size of the fleet, replace it with low- or zero-emissions options, and still have freedom of movement.”

Dr Woods also noted the continued expansion of the public charging network, with another 11 public chargers (many high capacity fast chargers with multiple charging ports) co-funded in Round Nine. In total, the LEVCF has co-funded over 600 public EV chargers, of which more than 450 are operational.

“The growing charging network should give New Zealand households and businesses thinking of purchasing EVs the confidence to do so, in the knowledge the infrastructure is increasingly available, thanks in large part to the Fund,” she said.

Since the Contestable Fund began, EECA has committed $29.4m in government funding to 180 projects, matched by $62m in applicant funding. Round 10 will open in March/April 2021.

The Fund is one of several initiatives in the Government’s Electric Vehicles Programme.

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