Labour fails on electric vehicles

New figures on the world’s first ever World EV Day lay bare the Government’s utter failure at decarbonising our transport fleet and spurring the uptake of new electric vehicles, say National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop and Associate Environment spokesperson Erica Stanford.

“The Coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First says that the Government will aim for the government’s vehicle fleet, where practicable, to become emissions-free by 2025/26.”

Answers to written questions from Phil Twyford reveal that the Government counts 15,000 cars in the government fleet, but as of June 2020, just 108 of them were electric – less than 1 per cent of the fleet. In fifteen months the Government has bought just 37 electric vehicles.

“Like in so many areas, this Government talks a big game but has utterly failed to deliver. Today’s figures are humiliating for a Government that claims ‘climate change is our nuclear free moment’.

“To make matters worse, overall electric vehicle uptake in New Zealand has flatlined after a disastrous three years of policy inertia by Labour. It was reported yesterday that just 838 electric passenger cars and SUVs have been registered, compared to 906 in the same period last year.

“Electric vehicle sales should be rising strongly in New Zealand but Labour’s three years of policy failure has stopped the momentum built up under the last National-led Government. Just a few months ago the Government disbanded its own Electric Vehicles Leadership Group.

“National is the party of electric vehicles. In Government we set a target to double the number of EVs in New Zealand, established policies like the road user charges exemption to help get us there, and implemented a suite of measures to encourage EV uptake.

“Where Labour has failed, National will deliver again and Kiwis can look forward to an ambitious and positive EV agenda under the next National-led Government.”

You can read Phil Twyford's answer to the Written Parliamentary Question here.