Government supports more low emission vehicle options

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 12, 2021

The Government is giving more support to clean up how New Zealanders move around with approval for 22 new low-emission transport projects, announced this week by the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods.

Two of these include funding to Fuso and Hyundai Motors New Zealand, for electric and hydrogen demonstration trucks, respectively.

Fuso will purchase and fit out a 100% electric truck for extended test drives by potential customers. It will also carry out a one-year e-truck trial with five electric trucks and chargers with major transport companies in the proposed Auckland Transport Queen Valley Zero Emissions Area.

Hyundai will purchase and deploy five zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks.

The purpose of the Contestable Fund is to encourage innovation and investment that will accelerate the uptake of low emission vehicles in New Zealand. In 2020/21, up to $6.5 million in grant funding is available across two funding rounds.

The Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund (LEVCF) will contribute $3.7 million to the projects, with the 22 recipients contributing a total of $9.4 million. The fund is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). 

Since the Contestable Fund began, EECA has committed $29.4m in government funding to 180 projects, matched by $62m in applicant funding. Round 10 will open in March/April 2021.

The Fund is one of several initiatives in the Government‘s Electric Vehicles Programme.

Other projects in this round of funding include a community electric bike and car share scheme, additional EV charging stations. 

Minister Woods also noted the continued expansion of the public charging network, with another 11 public chargers (many high capacity fast chargers with multiple charging ports) co-funded in Round Nine. In total, the LEVCF has co-funded over 600 public EV chargers, of which more than 450 are operational.

Also included is the Otautahi Community Housing Trust‘s initiative, which is giving its tenants the opportunity to share rather than own transport through:

  • secure e-bike storage for a community bike share for its tenants (the Trust is funding the bikes itself), and

  • two second-hand Nissan Leafs for a community car share scheme.