EV cars stalled by ‘hands off’ government

EV cars stalled by ‘hands off’ government

Electric vehicle adoption is being stifled by the government, says First party leader Winston Peters.

Speaking at today’s opening of ChargeNet’s latest fast charging station at Kaiwaka, Peters said that New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to electric vehicles.

“New Zealand is way behind in reducing emissions from vehicles, yet we have the renewable energy to power electric cars at our fingertips,” he said.

“Northland should be proud that charging stations are growing in number here. It’s impressive that this plug-in station at Jaques Four Square has been a collaborative approach involving Northpower, Kaipara and ChargeNet.

“However, New Zealand has a lot of catching up to do in adopting electric vehicles. Norway, for example, with a population of five million, only about 600,000 more people than New Zealand, has nearly 70,000 electric vehicles. We have about 800.

“New Zealand, like Norway, has a big reliance on hydro electricity and is now reaping the rewards as the popularity of electric vehicles increases. But in Norway the government has been supportive.

“There are road blocks in New Zealand, including the high cost of electricity. The Minister for the Environment was quick to pose for photographs at the opening of New Zealand’s first fast-charge station in Whangarei last year, but the government has not been a team player since. It’s time for the government to put some incentives forward.

“It’s ironic that Minister of Transport and Energy and Resources Simon Bridges told the industry a week ago, that, as the private sector, they must go it alone. But it was his government that handed out $30 million to Rio Tinto and $67m to Warner Bros in corporate welfare.

“The electric vehicle industry will create jobs and will be a way forward from dependence on fossil fuels, with potential to reduce imports, as crude oil costs the country billions a year. But this National Government is hands off.”

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