Courtesy of Sigurd Magnusson, Senior Adviser, New Zealand Environment, Emissions and Adaptation Ministry of Transport | Te Manatū Waka
The New Zealand government in May 2022 adopted its first Emissions Reduction Plan. This is a statutory document required under the Climate Change Response Act to help achieve net zero CO2 by 2050 domestically and the global effort to limit temperature rise to 1.5˚C. It sets out carbon budgets, numerous targets, and many actions out to 2035 across all sectors in the economy. For transport, it sets a target for a 41% reduction of CO2 from 2019 levels and agrees to four targets:
Target 1 — Reduce total kilometres travelled by the light fleet by 20 per cent by 2035 through improved urban form and providing better travel options, particularly in our largest cities.
Target 2 — Increase zero-emissions vehicles to 30 per cent of the light fleet by 2035. (This relies on approximately 1.5 million zero emission vehicles being purchased)
Target 3 — Reduce emissions from freight transport by 35 per cent by 2035.
Target 4 — Reduce the emissions intensity of transport fuel by 10 per cent by 2035.
It also agrees to around 100 actions to achieve these targets.
Recent levels of electric vehicle sales have risen dramatically following the introduction of rebates from July 2021, and a wider scheme of rebates on other low-emission vehicles and fees on high-emission vehicles from April 2022. The top selling electric vehicle in New Zealand is the Tesla Model 3. The amount of rebate on a brand new electric vehicle is approximately US$5600, and the maximum fee on a high emission vehicle is a little over US$3000. You can look up the amount of rebate or fee on vehicle by entering the model name here.
From 2023, vehicle distributors will be required to achieve annually strengthening CO2 targets, which by 2026 will rival and then be stricter than those currently enacted by the EU and US. A comparison of targets is below.
An overview of the policies is available here.
The following is a chart showing the volume of brand new PHEV (green) and BEV (blue) sales in New Zealand January–April 2022.
NZ might not yet be the Norway of the Pacific, but it is moving rapidly to adopt electric vehicles.
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