Government left in the dust on electric cars

The National Government’s lack of a plan to shift New Zealand to electric vehicles will have contributed to Nissan’s decision to stop selling its Leaf electric car new in New Zealand, the Green Party said.

The Nissan Leaf was formerly the most affordable electric car (EV) available new in New Zealand.

“There is a huge opportunity for electric vehicles to cut our contribution to climate pollution and our $6 billion annual oil import bill but the National Government is being left in the dust,” Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“Other countries have plans to shift their vehicle fleets from petrol to electric, but the National Government is still stuck in the gas-guzzling Twentieth Century. It’s no coincidence EV manufacturers are now pulling out.

“Transport Minister Simon Bridges has been promising policies to encourage electric cars since last year but we’re yet to see anything from him except a website and a dozen photo opportunities.

“If the Transport Minister is stuck for ideas, he’s welcome to borrow the Green Party’s plan to provide significant tax breaks for businesses that choose electric cars and supporting the nationwide roll-out of fast charging stations.

“Our electric car policies would see large numbers of affordable second-hand electric cars within the reach of Kiwi families within a few years.

“Nissan says its decision was purely commercial but it’s clear that if the Government was doing something real to encourage electric cars the cost/benefit balance would be different,” said Ms Genter.

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