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Business engaged in shaping EV package

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Business engaged in shaping EV package

The Government’s collaborative approach to working with business has helped shape a promising electric vehicle package, the Sustainable Business Council says.

The SBC has welcomed the Government’s new Electric Vehicles Partnership Programme, which outlines a broad range of measures to encourage EV uptake including a target of electric vehicles making up 2% of the vehicle fleet by 2021.

These include extending the Road User Charges exemption until two percent of the light vehicle fleet is electric and creating a contestable fund of up to $6 million per year to encourage innovation for uptake of low emissions vehicle technology.

SBC Executive Director Abbie Reynolds says she is pleased the Government is committed to working in partnership with business to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand.

“We have a national target to reduce our emissions by 30% by 2030. Transport is responsible for about one-sixth of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, so there are real benefits to increasing the number of low emission vehicles on our roads,” she says.

“Our members have made it clear that for businesses to move to EVs they need a sound business case and models that are fit for purpose for their fleet.

Reynolds says the SBC is particularly pleased to see bulk purchase across the public and private sector included in the programme.

“We need to be able to demonstrate to car manufacturers and importers that there is a demand for electric vehicles in New Zealand, so we get greater selection and better prices.

“We also have high hopes for the Inland Revenue review of depreciation rates and Fringe Benefit Tax calculations. We pushed hard for this, and our members believe addressing these could positively influence take-up of EVs by business.”

SBC members Mighty River Power, AirNZ, Westpac, Downer, Auckland Airport, IAG, Vector and Beca, and strategic partner EECA, were actively involved in developing the electric vehicle programme in partnership with government, Reynolds says.

“Our members want to take a leadership position on sustainability, and do this through collaboration on issues that can transition New Zealand to a low emissions economy.”

Other measures announced today include:

an information and promotion campaign;
clarifying the regulations for charging infrastructure;
addressing barriers to owning electric vehicles;
empowering road controlling authorities to allow electric vehicles to use bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes;
investigating bulk purchase of electric vehicles by public sector and commercial fleets;
a leadership group comprising representatives from Government, industry and local government.

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