Government unveils $10 million electric vehicle fund

Simon Bridges says the new fund will help accelerate the uptake of EVs in New Zealand. With special feature audio.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has unveiled details for the government’s ambitious $10 million electric vehicle (EV) fund.

The money will be used to co-fund projects with private and public sector partners in areas where commercial returns aren’t strong enough yet to justify full private investment.

Mr Bridges says the low emission vehicles contestable fund will help accelerate the uptake of EVs in New Zealand.

He says the fund will focus on projects aiming to increase the variety and supply of EVs available, the availability of charging infrastructure and projects that are developing innovative products or systems.

The government has set a target to double the number of EVs each year to reach 64,000 by 2021 – or roughly 2%.

“We want to support innovative New Zealand organisations to get projects up and running as quickly as possible so we can see more electric vehicles replacing fossil-fuelled ones on New Zealand roads,” Mr Bridges says.

Mr Bridges says EVs are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles, they’re powered by New Zealand's abundant renewable electricity supply and they’ll reduce the amount of emissions that come from the country’s vehicle fleet.

Up to $4 million is available in 2016/17, with up to $6 million available in future years.

To gain funding, a project will need to contribute to at least one of the following:

  • increasing the variety and supply of electric vehicles (EVs) available;

  • improving the availability of servicing or charging infrastructure in areas where demand is not fully developed;

  • increasing demand for EVs through education and experience; or

  • developing innovative products or systems to take advantage of growing EV usage.

The fund will be administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). The first funding round is expected to open in mid-September with funding decisions made before the end of 2016.

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