New Zealand puts more emphasis on electric vehicles

The global fleet of electric vehicles accounts for 0.2 percent of the total number of passenger vehicles on the road.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 27, 2017 at 6:27 AM
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June 27 (UPI) -- New Zealand's government said Tuesday it was introducing new measures aimed at increasing the number of electric vehicles on the nation's roads.

The government said the number of electric vehicles on the road was high, but more progress was needed to meet national goals. Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Natural Resources Minister Judith Collins unveiled new measures that would spread levy funding across more activities for the greatest gain.

"We think there are opportunities to improve New Zealand's energy productivity and reduce emissions by focusing on the transport and industrial sectors in addition to electricity efficiency," Collins said in a statement.

The International Energy Agency found substantial gains in the sale and construction of the infrastructure needed to support a broader network of electric vehicles worldwide.

Collins started the year by targeting more than a dozen projects with $2.5 million in funding to incentivize the electric vehicle market. She said the funding was part of an effort to put 64,000 electric vehicles on New Zealand's roads by 2021.

A measure included in the international Paris climate agreement calls for 100 million electric vehicles on the market by 2030 in an effort to curb pollution levels.

The global fleet of electric vehicles accounts for 0.2 percent of the total number of passenger vehicles on the road. The IEA said earlier this month that 2 million electric vehicles were on the road last year, though three markets -- China, the European Union and the United States -- accounted for more than 90 percent of that total.

New Zealand was among the most recent movers on the incentive front, forming a special counsel tasked with accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles on the road last year.

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