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Move to keep cleaning up diesel fleet welcome

August 28, 2009
Media Release

Business welcomes move to keep cleaning up diesel fleet

The Government’s decision to stay with the current timetable to clean up the country’s used diesel vehicle fleet is being welcomed by business leaders.

They say a selective “cash for clunkers” scheme here could also accelerate cleaning up the nation’s aging vehicle fleet.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development says the decision to stay with the timetable in the 2007 Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule, requiring the Japan 05 emission standard for harmful exhaust emissions to be met from January 1 next year, announced by Transport Minister Steven Joyce, is welcome.

“We’re pleased the Government hasn’t changed the timetable. It’s important to improve the country’s vehicle fleet – for health and environmental reasons,” Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says.

The case could also still be made for introducing financial incentives for people to trade in older high-emission diesels and other high emission high fuel use vehicles.

“Older vehicles are specially bad for particulates that play a major role in poor air quality and causing health problems in our major cities.”

Earlier Business Council research on this concept showed cash incentives for people to trade older and have poor performing vehicles scrapped, could result in 86,000 efficient vehicles entering the fleet a year. The 20-year fleet life fuel savings alone for their owners would be $727 billion. It would cost the Government $90 million gross.

Over four years more than 233,000 cleaner vehicles could enter the fleet.

“Cash for clunker” schemes in other countries, like Germany and the United States, had proven highly popular.

In Business Council-commissioned ShapeNZ polling of 2,851 New Zealanders in April this year, 75% said they would approve of a cash incentive policy, to run alongside the emissions trading scheme, as a complementary measure to help cut emissions.

The motor industry also supports incentives to trade in inefficient vehicles.

ENDS

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