Outgreening the Greens

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced the Government’s plans to get more New Zealanders behind the wheel of electric cars.

The Government package includes:

  • a target to double the number of electric vehicles on the roads, to reach 64,000 by 2021
  • extending the electric cars’ Road User Charge exemption to light vehicles (until electric cars make up 2 percent of all light vehicles)
  • new Road User Charge exemptions to heavy electric vehicles (until electric cars make up 2 percent of all heavy vehicles)
  • working to purchase electric vehicles in bulk across the Government and private sector
  • government agencies to support the development and roll-out of public charging stations, as well as information and guidance
  • $1 million annually for nationwide vehicle information and promotion for the next five years
  • $6 million per year to encourage and support innovative low emission vehicles
  • allowing electric vehicles in bus lanes, and high occupancy lanes on the State Highway network and local roads
  • review of tax depreciation rates and calculations to ensure electric vehicles aren’t unfairly disadvantaged
  • establishing an electric vehicle leadership group with local business and central Government

“Electric vehicles will maximise New Zealand’s renewable advantage, and with more than 80 percent of the country’s electricity coming from hydro, geothermal and wind. The increased use of electric vehicles will replace petrol and diesel with clean green, locally produced energy,” Mr Bridges says.

The push is an effort to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles as well as petrol consumption; a typical petrol car emits more than its weight in CO2 per year (about 2 tonnes).

Many countries already provide incentives to purchase electric cars, including Norway, Germany and the Denmark.

In principle there is nothing wrong with looking for more energy efficient and renewable “biased” ways to do things.  But when they only become viable through subsidies, we’ve seen time and time again where that leads.  Hugely expensive (to the taxpayer) white elephants.

More interesting are the moves by ACT and National to position themselves as more green than the Green Party.  I doubt there will be a lot of votes in that, as most Green supporters are also communists, marxists and eco-loons.

That said, National’s strategy to try and be a little bit of everything to everyone takes a lot of the “need to change” out of the electorate, so you have to appreciate the pragmatism.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.