In a move that is sure to be celebrated by kiwis of all kinds, the government of New Zealand passed a law earlier this month that will require all its agencies and ministries to exclusively buy electric vehicles over internal combustion options.
The electric vehicle requirement is part of a broader initiative by the New Zealand government to ensure that the country’s public sector is fully carbon neutral by 2025. New Zealand will also mandate that all public sector buildings to be held to a “green standard” of emissions and energy use, as well. Think of like, a LEED-certified building, but in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — who has been widely celebrated for her instrumental role in containing the spread of COVID-19 within New Zealand’s borders — made the commitment to switch to EVs during a house floor speech. She also used that speech to declare a climate emergency in the country, which she called, “a declaration based on science,” according to the NZ Herald. She also called the moves a “acknowledgment of the next generation”, that you can hear for yourself by watching The Guardian’s coverage of her speech below.
New Zealand PM Declares Climate Emergency
Critics of Ardern’s commitments to a green NZ government dismissed the moves as “virtue signaling,” which is a term that awful people often use to project their own dismissive opinions onto others. Rather than give them any more of a platform than they already have, then, I’d prefer to speculate wildly about what kind of EVs the New Zealand government might end up spending its taxpayers’ money on.
While Tesla does have a presence in New Zealand, the Nissan LEAF is stronger in that market than you might think. Hyundai and Kia also have good EV representation among the Kiwis (my brother-in-law, in fact, has one of the Kias … despite my well documented Volvo-loving nature, even!). I could easily see a few LEAFs serving as passenger cars with something like the Renault Kangoo or Nissan eNV200 acting as cargo and people-movers. That’s just me, though — what do you guys think New Zealand’s government should be spending its money on? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know.