Jan. 19 (UPI) -- New Zealand's government said Thursday it was setting aside more than $2 million to help stimulate the electric-vehicle market in the country.
Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins said more than a dozen projects will be targeted with a $2.5 million fund to incentivize the electric vehicle market.
"The funding will provide up to 50 percent funding for projects that will demonstrate and showcase low emission vehicle technologies in high-profile, visible ways that will help to normalize these technologies, and that can be implemented relatively quickly," she said in a statement.
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.
Collins said the funding is part of an effort to put 64,000 electric vehicles on New Zealand's roads by 2021. A measure included the Paris climate declaration, meanwhile, calls for 100 million electric vehicles on the market by 2030 in an effort to curb pollution levels.
"They will reduce the emissions that come from the country's vehicle fleet," she said. "An electric vehicle in New Zealand produces 80 percent fewer carbon emissions than a petrol or diesel powered vehicle."
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.
New Zealand's stimulus follows the forming of a multi-sector consortium of automakers and energy companies tasked with advancing hydrogen as a clean fuel choice. Fuel cell vehicles are limited in availability and depend in part on access to refueling stations for hydrogen.
The council collectively aims to invest nearly $11 billion during the next five years in hydrogen-related energy products.