Govt keeps handbrake on electric vehicles

Simon Bridges’ lacklustre electric vehicle announcement today will do little to increase the number of electric vehicles on New Zealand roads, the Green Party said today.

“Sadly, National has failed to make electric cars more affordable and accessible for New Zealanders,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“The policy is actually unfair and counterproductive. Those wealthy enough to afford electric vehicles will be exempt from paying to maintain the roads we all drive on, and will be allowed to clog up bus lanes, making congestion worse in our largest cities.

“This National Government refuses to embrace meaningful tax breaks or emissions standards that have led to a high uptake of electric vehicle in places like Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

“Offering access to bus lanes, and announcing a series of reviews, investigations and ‘coordinated activities’, isn’t going to move New Zealand to a low-carbon economy.

“New Zealanders want to end our reliance on climate-damaging foreign oil, but we need Government to step-up and level the playing field for clean energy, electric vehicles, and not hamper access to public transport.

“The Green Party would exempt electric vehicles from fringe benefit tax, a move that would cut at least $8,000 off a $40,000 electric vehicle. We’d also require that 20 percent of new government cars be electric within seven years.

“The Government’s failure to move with any speed on electric vehicles saw Nissan pull the world's most popular and affordable electric car, the Leaf, from the New Zealand market late last year,” said Ms Genter.

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