The Green Party today welcomed the Government's campaign to raise the profile of electric vehicles (EVs), but warned that the absence of any plan to make them affordable means EVs will be out of reach for most New Zealanders.
The comments follow the release of Treasury advice which said that the Government's only electric vehicle incentive (an exemption from Road User Charges until 2021) would be an ineffective subsidy and cost the country $40 million.
Treasury also described the Government’s $6 million contestable EV fund as "low-value spending and a missed opportunity to prepare New Zealand for widespread uptake of low-emission vehicles".
“It's fantastic so many groups are working to raise the profile of electric vehicles. The National Government could do so much more to make it easier for more New Zealanders to buy an electric car," said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“The Government’s advisers in the Treasury are saying the only incentive National has to offer is ineffective, and won’t result in more electric vehicles on our roads.
“The Green Party would make electric vehicles affordable by exempting them from fringe benefit tax, which has the potential to reduce the up-front cost by more than a third.
“New Zealanders want to lead the switch to clean electric cars, powered by local energy, and end our reliance on expensive and dirty foreign oil,” said Ms Genter.