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Electric vehicles a real solution for NZ

16 September 2008 Media Statement

Electric vehicles a real solution for sustainable NZ transport

News that an electric vehicle trial will take place in New Zealand next year is proof that electric vehicles are a reality, not a pipedream, Acting Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven said today.

"The government welcomes Meridian Energy's agreement with Mitsubishi Japan and Mitsubishi New Zealand to bring a 100 percent electric "i-MiEV" into New Zealand for a trial in 2009."

Many car makers are now developing electric vehicles as the technology improves rapidly. The government believes electric vehicles have significant potential for New Zealand, Mr Duynhoven said.

"Electric motors convert electricity to energy much more efficiently than the combustion energy can do with petrol or diesel, so they are more environmentally friendly to begin with.

"Combined with New Zealand's predominantly renewable sources of electricity, we have the means to bring about a real reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.

The New Zealand Energy Strategy and the New Zealand Transport Strategy 2008 propose that New Zealand should be one of the first nations to widely adopt plug-in hybrid and purely electric vehicles, Mr Duynhoven said.

"We've stated that electric vehicles should make up 30 percent of vehicle sales by 2030, and 60 percent of the total light vehicle fleet by 2050."

To promote the use of renewable energy in transport, the government has set up the Vehicle Energy and Renewables Group, made up of eight industry and research experts.


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