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Meridian Energy welcomes action on cleaner cars

9 July 2019

Meridian Energy welcomes the government’s proposal to introduce standards and discounts incentivising cleaner vehicles in New Zealand.

Chief Executive Neal Barclay says transport represents a huge opportunity for New Zealand to reduce emissions, meet climate targets, and lower running costs for families and individuals.

“Too many vehicles on our roads are fuel inefficient and emission-intensive. For a country that trades on its environmental credentials, doing nothing is no longer an option. We’re fortunate that New Zealand has a high proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources, around 85%. We should be using this to power our transport where we can.”

“I’m pleased to see political agreement on bringing in positive change that most New Zealanders will welcome,” Mr Barclay says.

Meridian Energy has converted close to 80% of its passenger fleet to electric vehicles with a goal of 90% by 2020 and says it is already experiencing lower overall running costs.

“It’s not only about the environmental benefits. Shifting to electric and fuel-efficient vehicles is a smart economic decision. Kiwis pay hundreds more at the pump each year than people in the EU simply because our cars are inefficient,” Mr Barclay says.

The proposed policies will save New Zealanders an estimated $627 million in fuel over the life of the cleaner vehicles and reduce emissions by an estimated 5.1 million tonnes.

Mr Barclay says encouraging greater use of mobility-as-a-service, such as car sharing, and making public transport more viable and attractive are also necessary to lower New Zealand’s emissions from transport.

“Transport is an area where decisions we make as individuals have a tangible impact. Using a cleaner car is one of the biggest and most meaningful steps a household or individual can take toward lowering their carbon footprint.

“These proposed policies will make it easier for the transition to happen and we commend the government for taking action,” Mr Barclay says.

ENDS

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