Government announces biggest push yet to make NZ's vehicle fleet cleaner and greener

Source: 1News

The Government has provided over $17 million in funding for over 90 projects focused on making the country's fleet of vehicles cleaner and greener.

Some of the Government-backed projects aimed at lowering emissions include electric campervans, freight trucks and a hydrogen-fuelled bus.

"This isn't just all about private domestic vehicles or tourism vehicles - this is also about moving the heavy fleet," Energy Minister Megan Woods said. "When it comes to heavy vehicles, there’s still a lot of work to be done".

Work has been largely focused on infrastructure, including hundreds of chargers spanning the length of the country.

The Goverrnment's latest investment will add 35 more, patching remote areas like Otira, Franz Josef and Aoraki/Mt Cook.

It will also help fund an inspection service for second-hand electric vehicles.

"The purpose of this fund is to make sure we've got the infrastructure in place. That means we don't have all these people with EVs and not the right way to use them," Ms Woods said.

However, despite the investment, the Government is a long way off from reaching its goal of 64,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of 2021.

Currently, there are a little over 11,000 electric vehicles on our roads - around 0.3 per cent of the nation's fleet.

"Our issue is the supply of vehicles," the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's Andrew Casely said. "There's a worldwide shortage now of electric vehicles because of demand outstripping supply, and also there is still an issue around price - particularly new vehicles".

Ms Woods would not say whether the Government would be willing to take on some of the cost.

"There will be a range of options that we need to consider as a Government, but today I'm concentrating that we've got the nuts and bolts in place," she said.