Wasted opportunity to change lanes to electric cars

The Government should be showing leadership and replacing the Crown cars with high-end electric cars instead of buying 34 more diesel BMW limousines, the Green Party said.

“The Government has wasted the opportunity to lead the way and start replacing the Crown fleet with electric cars, instead of buying more BMW diesels,” Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“The latest high-end electric cars like Teslas can travel about 400km on one charge so range is no excuse, especially given that many of the Crown fleet’s trips are just the 20km round trip from the Beehive to Wellington Airport and back.

“The cost of running electric vehicles is lower than conventional cars because the cost of electricity is much cheaper than liquid fuel and electric motors have lower servicing costs.

“The Government should be jump-starting the transition to electric vehicles by buying their own, as well as investing in a nationwide network of fast-charging stations.

"This unfortunate decision not to invest in electric cars is consistent with our Government’s embarrassingly weak emissions reduction target.

“Ministry of Transport documents released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act show that the Government knows what it needs to do to decrease transport emissions, but it won’t say if it is actually doing anything.

“Questions need to be asked about whether the Government has turned down advice from the Ministry of Transport to buy electric cars.

“Transport causes more than 40 percent of New Zealand’s carbon emissions but yet again, the Government has baulked at the opportunity to show leadership by embracing smart, clean solutions to climate change,” said Ms Genter.