Every weekend we dig into the archives. This post by Stu was originally published in May 2016.

Imagine, for a moment, that I was trying to sell you a bag of organic lemons. Now imagine that my bag of organic lemons costs 25 times the normal price. They’re very good ***organic*** lemons, I would say, while flashing a Simon Bridges smile. Well-fertilized by a lovely labradoodle called Lexie, I might add.

When confronted with such a scenario, I imagine (hope) that most of you would tell me to stick my organic lemons somewhere nice and dark. Like Norway.

P1000993
View of Bergen, Norway

How is this relevant to EVs? Well, the Government has just announced policies to subsidize uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). The Government is subsidizing EVS so as to reduce carbon emissions. A noble objective, you might think. Except for one small problem: My analysis suggests the Government’s is paying 25 times more to reduce emissions via EVs than what it’d cost to reduce emissions via other channels. Put another way, if we took the money being used for EV subsidies and instead used it to offset carbon emissions elsewhere in the economy, then we’d be able to buy 25 times more for our money.

Doesn’t sound like a very good deal does it? Let me first present some numbers to support this conclusion.

First, let’s consider the benefits side of the EV subsidy equation. Information available on the MoT website suggests (from my reading) that the main objective of the Government’s EV subsidies is to reduce emissions from transport. To achieve this outcome, the Government is proposing a suite of measures (subsidies) that are designed to increase the number of EVs on New Zealand roads from approximately 5,000 now to 64,000 in 2021. Of course, under a counter-factual (do-nothing) scenario the number of EVs on NZ roads would also be expected to increase, simply because EV technology is improving over time. For the sake of this analysis let’s say that under the counter-factual scenario (i.e. in the absence of the Government’s subsidies for EVs) we’d see an additional 10,000 EVs on NZ roads. From this we can deduce the Government’s subsidies cause a ***net*** increase of 50,000 EVs.

Second, on the cost side of the equation we find that two of the nine policies are costed at $42 million per annum in 2021. However, we’d expect the cost of the subsidies to start off low and ramp up progressively over the five year period, as more people buy EVs. Let’s assume the subsidies amount to an average of $20 million p.a. over 5 years, or $100 million in total. Let’s also keep things simple and use undiscounted monetary values. To sum up, the Government’s subsidies for EVs amount to spending approximately $100 million over 5 years, which is expected to result in an additional 50,000 EVs on NZ roads. This subsidy can be broken down further: $100 million divided by 50,000 EVs equates to $2,000 per EV, which over five years amounts to $400 per EV per annum. If we further assume an individual EV will be driven an average of 12,000km p.a., then we find the subsidies amount to approximately $0.03 per kilometre travelled.

So what do New Zealand taxpayers get for this investment? Or more specifically, how much of a reduction in CO2 emissions do we get from this investment? The Government’s analysis suggests that EVs will save 0.15 kg CO2 per kilometre traveled compared to a normal car. At 12,000 km p.a. this equates to 1.8 tonnes of CO2 saved per vehicle per annum. If we then apply the current carbon price of NZD $10 per tonne, then we find the Government’s EVs subsidies cost approximately 25 times more per year than the market value of the carbon emissions that they save.

I want to pause for a second to let this sink in: The Government’s EV subsidies cost 25 times more than what it would cost to reduce emissions in other ways. Oh. Dear.

Some of you may argue that a carbon price of NZD $10 per tonne of Co2 is too low – and I’d most definitely agree. Recent research suggests a carbon price closer to $200 per tone would be more accurate. However, I think it’s worth keeping in mind that the current carbon price is the direct consequence of deliberate policy decisions implemented by this Government over the last 8 years. Specifically, the Government has chosen to give out large volumes of free carbon credits, which have suppressed the price of carbon. Hence, I’d argue that the current carbon price at least reflect the Government’s views on how much New Zealanders should be paying to reduce carbon emissions.

Other people who are reading this may be thinking that I simply can’t be right. That somewhere I’ve missed out some zeros, or got a decimal point out of place. Perhaps I’ve been doubling-down on a few too many space-cakes here in Amsterdam, and/or skipped a few too many economics classes.

To try and get an independent perspective on my calculations I undertook some further research into the impact of EV subsidies in other countries. In doing so I stumbled across a very interesting paper titled The Norwegian support and subsidy policy of electric cars. Should it be adopted by other countries?, which was published in 2014 in Environmental Science and Policy.

This paper evaluates Norway’s subsidies for EVs and concludes (pg. 167; emphasis added):

Our main conclusion is that the Norwegian EV subsidy policy should be ended as soon as possible, and that this policy certainly should not be implemented by other countries. The solution to the GHG problem of the transportation sector in the next few decades in a world in which the GDP and population growth are the main drivers of the road traffic volume (Bosetti and Longden, 2013) is not to offer subsidies making it cheaper to buy and run EVs, or other alternatives, but to introduce more taxes and restrictions on car use. There are simply too many social costs associated with car transportation (Sterner, 2007). The subsidization idea, which informs so much of environmental policy today, not least within Europe, is ineffective, has several unintended consequences and will in many cases be counterproductive (Helm, 2012). The Norwegian policy for the support of EVs is an example of this.
Reading further, one finds that the authors have reached this conclusion based on an analysis of emissions savings from Norway’s EV subsidies. And guess what? They find the cost of the subsidies was approximately 2,700 times higher than the equivalent cost of offsetting the same amount of carbon (pg. 167; emphasis added):

Under certain reasonable assumptions, we then find that the EV subsidy package that the single EV owner gains amounts to about 13,500 USD/tCO2. As pointed out, this is about 2700 times higher than the current CO2 emission price. Therefore, under similar assumptions, subsidizing 20,000 EVs adds up to the value of more than 50 million permits, or about the present yearly GHG emission in Norway. Rather than supporting EV owners, the Norwegian Government could have bought emission rights in the same amount in the quota market and kept these rights unused, meaning that the quota supply would actually have shrunk. This would have driven the quota price up and possibly contributed to a technology push along different lines. At the same time, this measure would have made Norway ‘carbon neutral’.

Also contained in the paper is some interesting information on who seems to benefit from EV subsidies (pg. 167; emphasis added), with the authors commenting as follows:
It is widely believed that this EV policy will result in less energy consumption based on fossil fuels and a reduction in the local emission and noise problems. However, our discussion and analysis show that unfortunately the issue is not that simple. One of the most worrying aspects of the current EV policy incentives in Norway is that they motivate high-income families to buy a second car. At the moment, two-car households make up a minority. However, if two cars per household become more common, they will pose an environmental challenge across several dimensions and will doubtless mean that the EV policy as a GHG emission reduction instrument is totally missing its point.

“Totally missing its point” is not something you read in academic papers everyday. It’s worth mentioning that political parties in Norway recently reached consensus on rolling back EV subsidies, by removing EVs’ ability to use bus lanes and lifting their exemptions from tolls.

If you’re looking for a sound-bite from this post then this is it: The Government is proposing to spend $100 million to subsidize wealthy households to buy electric cars in order to achieve a relatively paltry reduction in emissions.

At this point I should point out that the Government is not alone in proposing that the New Zealand taxpayers subsidize EVs. The Green Party, for example, has also proposed removing FBT from EVs. While I haven’t evaluated their policy in any detail, on the basis of the numbers I’m seeing here I’d be ***extremely*** skeptical about the effectiveness of such a policy, especially when considered from an environmental and social justice perspective.

To finish, I want to make two moderating comments in relation to my criticisms of EV subsidies.

The first caveat is that I think EV technology is really cool and has a lot of potential to make our lives better. However, observing something is a “cool technology” is not sufficient reason to implement subsidies. Call me square if you will, but I personally believe that good policy should try to 1) achieve its stated outcomes and 2) to do so in an effective manner. Spending $100 million for what appears to be little gain seems to fall outside of this definition of “good policy”..

The second caveat is to acknowledge that EVs have benefits which extend beyond carbon emissions, and include things like air quality and noise benefits. These benefits should definitely be considered as part of a detailed benefit cost analysis. However the onus for demonstrating these benefits, I would argue, lies with the Government / MoT – not some strawberry-blonde punk blogger like myself. Specifically, the Government should really be doing detailed benefit cost analysis before announcing policies. For this reason I think it’s fair for us to evaluate Government policies in terms of their stated objectives.

Notwithstanding these moderating comments, my conclusion is that the Government’s is spending about 25 times more on EVs than they should.

Personally, I feel like this is a shame because I would love to see New Zealand take some serious steps towards reducing carbon emissions. The EV policies announced by the Government, however, do not qualify as a serious step. I’m left with the distinct impression that these EV subsidies are a superficially attractive way (“greenwash”) designed to distract New Zealanders from what is a very real problem: Our carbon footprint is too damned high.

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38 comments

  1. The “very real problem: Our carbon footprint is too damned high.”
    I see four ways to solve this.
    1. Solar, which is dependent on fine weather.
    2. More Hydro.
    3. More Thermal.
    4. Go Nuclear.

    I am not sure how practical these options are other than Nuclear. It needs to be “sold” to the voters as Nuclear Power is very different to Nuclear Warfare.

    1. 5. Use less energy. Reducing energy consumption is compatible with reducing consumerism, reducing pollution, reducing waste problems, and increasing real quality of life.

      6. Reduce our transport carbon emissions. Given that a substantial component of our increasing carbon emissions are transport emissions, despite improvements in car emissions ratings, there’s a very clear path to follow: reduce our vehicle km travelled. Yet we’ve been doing the opposite, because we’ve been increasing our road capacity. And the business cases for every single one of those road projects have been utterly incorrect: they are based on “travel time savings” that do not eventuate, because the modelling for the road projects systematically and by design do not included the increase in trips that the road project causes.

      7. Sequester more carbon with better land use such as agroforestry and restoration agriculture, and stop ruining and eroding our soil, which has the ability to sequester lots of carbon if treated well. About half of the anthropogenic atmospheric carbon is from poor treatment of our soil, and a lot of that is reversible.

      Of the options you list, the most practical are solar, hydro and geothermal, which are quite compatible.

      1. The ProdCom raised all these points you raise in its draft report on going Carbon Zero by 2050.

        Specifically it calls out transport emissions as the growing elephant in the room which we can do something about and which we also need to do something about if we hope to reach the goals.

        It also criticises road projects that use travel time savings as the majority of the benefits and so to justify them. [indirectly] for the reasons you mention.

        There is also an insidious part of the models used for these projects as well – not only do the projected travel time savings not eventuate because [officially non existent] induced demand erodes the savings, but the models then also do credit the same level of travel time savings to the induced demand as well, thereby double counting the “travel time benefits” while simultaneously denying that induced demand actually exists and then ignoring that the travel time savings assumed can never actually eventuate as projected either. A double whammy.

        Hydro and Geothermal are base load technologies. Prodcom points out that overall out current Geothermal plants emit quite high levels of CO2e for the electricity generated.
        Though, with water reinjection back into the geothermal reservoir as modern plants do does reduce but not eliminate them.

        Hydro can be used as pumped storage but none of the NZ Hydro schemes are set up or consented to do that. But the largest Hydro dam network (Waitaki power scheme, comprising lakes: Tekapo, Pukaki, Ohau, Ruataniwha, Benmore, Aviemore, Waitaki) can only storage approximately 8 weeks worth of “normal”: demand whereas countries like Norway have Hydro dams that can supply normal loads for 2 or more years. Instead we rely in regular topping up of the dam water from rain and snow events. Which is in a climate changing world will become harder to manager.

        The best option for Hydro in NZ is to get Tiwai point eliminated and then the electricity from Manapouri can more than offset the likely electricity demand growth for some time to come.
        Meridian have some consented extensions to the Waitaki dams – which are currently suspended by Meridian, but are ready to go when demand increases sufficiently.

        Nuclear is simply a non starter.

        1. If the Onslow-Manorburn depression pump storage scheme was ever allowed we’d never need to build another nasty visually polluting windturbine ever again but the green lobby would shoot this down. I don’t see NZ ever building another major hydro station, sad because wind farms are horrible to look at, devestating for bird life and really don’t provide that much energy.

      2. How do you use less energy? I’d like to know, so many things use electricity, like electric cars, when I was a child I’m sure my parents house consumed significantly less energy than my house today, they didn’t have two heat pumps, 3 TVs, multiple phones, iPads, gaming boxes, computers………unless the clock is rolled back and we give up all these things we take for granted energy consumption is only going to increase.

        1. It’s not so much a matter of rolling the clock back but standing back and choosing which elements of today’s mainstream culture nurture us, and which elements from our parents’ and grandparents’ era we can still tap into. Drying my clothes on the line, biking to the shops, slow cooking my rice by wrapping it in old jumpers, reading instead of watching tv, getting involved locally and making local friends – none of this involves hardship or is going backwards. If you want to read a fun little book with some great ideas, try “Frugal Hedonism”. Still makes me laugh. Or, if you want to meet people having fun as they transition to a lower carbon future, look up your local Transition Town group.

        2. Heat pumps are pretty efficient compared to what we had in the past & modern insulation techniques make a huge difference. They also didn’t have LED lights etc etc. I’ve just upgraded 3 computer network switches to faster ones & they only use ~50% of the power of the previous ones.

          1. All good, but Masterchief’s question is quite deep. We are using more energy despite all these more energy-efficient technologies, due to Jevon’s paradox. Making lifestyle changes to reduce energy consumption instead of just using the efficiencies to allow more ‘benefits’ becomes subversive. It is not compatible with being a good little consumer supporting an ever-growing economy.

            From what I’ve seen, the people who do manage to reduce their energy use achieve this because they have an overriding philosophy directing their choices. They choose from the available suite of technologies those that simultaneously do both these things at once: save energy, and prevent lifestyle changes that wipe out those energy savings. I can give examples if you like.

      3. Heidi you forgot wind – we already have a lot of wind projects already consented ready to go and unlike solar wind is not skewed diametrically away from our times of heavy demand (winter evenings).

    2. Nukes is the only way to get reliable power without emissions. If we don’t use nukes we will need Gas and Coal the security of the power grid must always come first over anything.

      1. Tell you what, then. When every bit of nuclear waste from nuclear power plants has been treated so it is not being left for future generations to deal with, and international politics is harnessed to ensure that every old, failing nuclear power plant is decomissioned in a way that nothing is left for future generations to deal with, and processes for compensating communities that have been ruined to date are considered fair (I suggest every nuclear power enthusiast should be required to live in one of these places with their families for three years to show their commitment), then let’s start talking about nuclear power. There are enough nuclear power plants in use already that they should be able to harness enough energy to achieve all this, yes?

        There probably is a role for coal and gas as backup security, but I personally don’t think we should be planning on it being an every day power source. Security of the grid is far less important than security of our ability to live decently on this planet.

        1. I forgot where this was but they were able to recycle 99% of nuclear waste so we are so close. Gas is currently baseload in NZ and is likely to grow as electricity use could grow by around 10% with growing economy. Because it sounds like the NZ public doesnt want nuclear we are likely to need a highly efficient Coal/Gas fired power station.(https://www.electricitymap.org/?page=country&solar=false&remote=true&wind=false&countryCode=NZ-NZN This shows how we need new gas as our “clean green” energy grid has maxed out its potential now any new capacity can only really come from Gas/Coal. Also security of the grid should always come first without it the whole economy would collapse.

          1. Your welcome. And yes its a huge mess some days you can check and its almost exclusively coal powerd with sunny Queensland being the worst

          2. Nowhere in the world recycles nuclear waste. There are two main technologies for dealing with the waste – bury it in the ground, or extract/enrich spent waste, which still requires buying the remaining waste (by far the majority). All nuclear fuel processes generate significant by-product waste that is itself radioactive (e.g. materials used to handle the fuel).

            Anyone who believes that Nuclear is cost effective and efficient has not done their homework. It is now the most expensive way to generate electricity in existence, and only getting worse. Renewables have been well below that level for a while now and are only going lower. When you account for the fully levellised cost (industry term for netting all cost inputs to generation per watt generated), Nuclear is even worse. It takes ages to start and build, costs way more to build, way more to finance, and way more to operate. Wind and solar are very quick to start, have very low capital & finance costs, and are almost free to operate once built (no fuel cost).

            Also, and I know someone will raise this, we no longer live in a ‘baseload’ world. That’s a very outdated concept. The industry has moved to ‘dispatchable’ load and variable load, plus other services like frequency moderation. Dispatchable is currently served by some wind plants that have very reliable output levels, gas, battery and nuclear. Coal is increasingly being thrown out as uneconomic. Nuclear is only economic in many countries due to huge state subsidies e.g. over a decade ago in the US, Nuclear generators got larger subsidies to right off their outstanding capital costs, and continued to get subsidies to pay for their fuel costs.

            For all those free market zealots out there, consider this: no where in the world will a private business entity finance a nuclear plant because they’re too risky and costly. All nuclear entities are now state subsidised (and really have been for a long time).

          1. It costs around $5,000 per kg to launch something to escape the earths orbit.

            A one Gigawatt nuclear plant produces 27,000 kg of waste per year.

            And don’t even start on the unreliability of rockets….

  2. I looked at buying a Tesla Model S P100, had it for a weekend, it was ok, but the price just didn’t stack up for me, a new one is 900,000 nok, plus installing charging infrastructure in the garage, another 35,000 nok, it’s really not that cheap, in the end I bought a new Audi A6 Avant, it was 250,000 nok cheaper, it has unlimited range and I saved 250,000 nok which is about 20 years fuel for both our cars.

      1. Why would my numbers need checking, I live in Norway this is what a 100D costs, if you go nuts with the options you can easily spend more than 1MNOK. Getting a fast charger set up in the garage is approx 35,000 NOK.

        I know what my new A6 Avant 2.0 TDI Quattro cost which was 650,000 NOK, I know what the older 2013 model I traded used in fuel per year, the new one shouldn’t be any different, so I think my numbers are pretty solid.

        At the moment Tesla’s are expensive city cars, they are compromised for long distance driving, you can’t tow anything, unless you buy the X, but towing anything kills range. The X isn’t all the useful for families, I can’t attach a roof box, or put anything on the roof like skis and bikes.

        Electric cars will get there one day, for me that day isn’t now.

          1. Electric cars are even more expensive in NZ than they are in Norway where they are subsidised. Conventional cars in NZ are significantly cheaper than conventional vehicles in NZ, electric cars are really not that valid in NZ for the average kiwi, who also earns a lot less than the average Norwegian. NZ is a long way away from being a viable market for electric vehicles.

  3. I think events have moved on quite a lot from this original post.

    ProdCom has a good handle on the EV issue [more so than the last government every did] and there are many many factors which Stu’s analysis ignores completely. He is right that is not his job to do the Governments work for them. And the original policy was pretty hamfisted. But we have a new government now, and the world is 2 years closer to 2050 and the climate change issue is now accepted by all political parties including, now, National. And is also accepted that the need to do something now is upon us. Where is mostly was not 2 years back.

    But if Stu is going to cherry pick some numbers out of the air of a vacuous Government policy, he needs to put some numbers around those missing “benefits” he points out as well to present a more balanced story.

    The actual “picture” wasn’t as black and white as painted here in 2016 and its got a lot more nuanced and colourful [and certainly a lot more pressing] in 2018.

    For one thing, the reason the Government wanted to do something with EV policy was to kick start a second hand market in “used EVs” by hopefully encouraging businesses rather than individuals to buy expensive EVs, then once the initial 3 or 5 years of ownership of those EVs is up, these cars are then on sold into the second hand market and newer EVs bought to replace them. The “second hand/ex lease” market is a big source of NZ’s “NZ new” fleet in the private vehicle market. And the second hand Japanese market a big source of imported vehicles.

    Adding 50,000 extra EVs over 5 years to the fleet seems to be a paltry effort, but then the current attempts by councils throughout NZ to add a few electric buses to their fleets feels just as paltry. But it is seen as a worthwhile “kick starter”. Same for private EVs.

    The National government in 2017 sweetened the pot for electric heavy vehicles [and buses] by giving them the same exemption from RUCs that light passenger EVs got in 2016. For Heavy Vehicles this is a significant benefit,

    [and therefore a significant cost to the NLTF in forgone RUCs] – which was not considered at all in the original cost analysis Stu mentioned. But I think as a way to encourage the start of the transition to a near fully electric fleet in NZ, this particular step is a worthwhile step to “prime the pump”.

    The business case for electric buses generally stacks up well – numerous studies overseas have shown that if robust and good quality electric buses are used and used on the appropriate routes they will more than return their extra purchase cost in operational savings over their operational lifetime.

    Yes there are dozens of examples where crappily built [usually Chinese] EV buses are put into service world wide and in China too, that have soon failed miserably and been junked in a few years to huge cost [Ottawa is one very recent example of this]. But there are shining examples too of how doing it properly with quality batteries, motors and control systems integrated to a bus chassis designed to be an electric bus works and works well. Its those examples that will win the EV day – not the Kamakuza 123s from wherever.

    The other benefits of use of T2/T3 lanes and other special lanes was a stupid idea with no merit. And no councils I know in NZ have actually implemented this rule as an exemption. Only NZTA has actually gone and allowed EVs to use the Truck/T2 lanes on the motorway on-ramps on a trial basis.

    But the ProdCom has recommended that any “EV subsidy” scheme needs to be “self-funded” and for NZ they specifically researched and recommended a system [“Bonus-Malus”] like France has which is working well, and which ProdCom called the “FeeBate” scheme, which is simply all newly imported vehicles to NZ from a set date are assessed and taxed on their lifetime emissions of CO2e at time of import. Those that will be heavy CO2e emitters like those massive V8’s, and US Gas Guzzling SUVs and F250 type trucks will end up paying extra taxes during import and those like EVs that emit dramatically less/zero CO2es will get a “subsidy”, and those somewhere between those two extremes will get a smaller tax or a smaller subsidy according to their CO2e lifetime potential – all paid for by the higher CO2e emitting vehicles.

    Which means the subsidy system becomes self funding, and other than administering the scheme as part of the importation process, the Government is not the one handing out the subsidies to EVs.

    In effect, this is is what Norway has done – the difference is that all imported cars have a huge tax on them, and Norway exempted EVs from some of all of that import tax. Thus indirectly causing fossil fuel vehicles imported to end up subsidising the EVs. Problem for Norway was that they added a whole bunch of other measures (like using bus lanes like National wanted too) and this has caused a lot of the problems.

    But the positive effect is that the percentage of EVs that now make up the newly registered vehicles in Norway in all of 2017 was over 50% and climbing further in 2018. And no, they’re not all Teslas. The Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-golf are the 2 most popular EVs in Norway to date, with BMW i3 3rd then Tesla Model X 4th.

    Norways scheme has also realistically “moved the needle” on their fleet with 5% of it now being EVs. Also being helped along by the Dieselgate saga which has seen new and second hand diesels [correctly in my view] relegated to the equivalent social and legal status of a “heavy smoker” and not welcome much in public any more in Europe. But 5% is considered close to the required “tipping point” for rapid EV adoption in a vehicle fleet. Its a shame that our Government target is currently set to get a mere 2% of the fleet to be EVs by 2021.

    Nowhere near enough to ensure we meet our Carbon goals in 2050 according to the ProdCom.

    I also don’t see that the issue mentioned of Norwegians getting EVs as “second cars” thus potentially doubling their fleet size, is relevant to NZ – most Auckland residents seem to have their own car these days, so homes with 2 or more cars are the norm. So much so that in the last Census (in March 2018), the question on cars available per dwelling had its options dramatically expanded from the previous list of 1, 2 or 3 or more to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 [or write in the number if more than 5]. Which is a near doubling of cars per dwelling.

    So multiple cars per dwelling is not a new problem here.

    Certainly ensuring we have a fast frequent, pollution free public transport system in Auckland and NZ is a big step along the way to stop the numbers of cars per dwelling growing even further and iudeally reducing. Having good modern electric buses is going to be a big part of that process.

    1. Thanks for those details, Greg. The growing number of cars per household is a real problem. I was noticing in the household travel survey that more cars in a household is associated with lower PT use per member. And that lower PT use is associated with less walking, which of course places huge load on our health system. This isn’t rocket science, but people do try to argue that the number of cars per household doesn’t affect behaviour when it most certainly does.

      The queue of cars waiting to pick up children from primary school now goes half way down my street whereas 12 years ago only a couple of cars would park here. But now some of the parents don’t even turn the engines of their SUVs off, because they know they are parking illegally in front of other people’s driveways. This is a 2018 thing, we haven’t had it before. Not sure what the next stage will be. Driving into and parking in driveways? That’s apparently happening one road over. I’m not sure what all this is doing to people’s minds, I mean, how do you justify to yourself that it’s ok? The school is strictly zoned – every child lives close enough to walk. I worry most about the psychological effects of this car dependency.

    2. Where do you get 50% of new registrations in Norway being ev’s, it’s nowhere near that number. It only gets to 50% when hybrids are included. Zero emissions vehicles made up 20.8% of vehicle sales.

      I will buy an ev when it can tow a trailer with boat on it. Until that happens I’m not interested.

        1. The range is terrible if you try towing with one.

          Boat and trailer weigh 1700kg, I can’t tow that with a bike Heidi.

          I’m waiting for hydrogen to happen, then the range anxiety goes away, they can be filled as quickly as a regular car.

          If Audi, BMW or Mercedes launched a hydrogen vehicle I’d be happy as a clam.

      1. I have a few friends who tow their boats behind their bikes. And they’re not even e-bikes. 🙂 One good way to have fun while reducing your energy consumption…

        1. Unfortunately most of the comments show people don’t realize the dangers the world is facing, this is taken from the Guardian about the heat in California this year

          ” The past month has seen power shortages in California as record heat forced a surge of demand for air conditioners.”

          Now my concern is if we have more electric vehicles charging at night, which is going to take priority the car or the air conditioner, night time temperatures need to be cool to recover from heat stress.

          Our 2 electric bikes take 360w each, total charging factoring in charging losses would be about 1Kw something many ev enthusiast don’t think about is energy conversion losses in battery technology. If we are don’t want to waste energy it has to be used efficiently and battery technology isn’t the answer.

          1. Yes, somehow the enormity of the problem is often too much to take in. The millions who have already had to flee their homes, the tens or hundreds of thousands who have already died. The heat causing dehydration, death, premature labour.

            I think a big problem is that people don’t want to go ‘backwards’, when in reality, finding a way to use less energy is a way ‘forwards’, in terms of social, public, mental health, local environment health, equity. A circular economy, in which we pay for people’s labour instead of leaving environmental problems due to not paying for all the externalities, supports a connected and healthy society.

            There are so many alternatives to use alongside modest use of battery technology. The push by National to rely on EV technology is part of a whole belief structure that refuses to see the problems of too many roads and eternal economic growth. The quicker Labour can realise that the answers lie in traffic evaporation and an active population, not EV, the quicker we can get some programmes underway to really make a difference.

  4. Good news: Cornwall Park is closing Twin Oaks Drive to vehicular traffic on Sundays for three weekends.
    Bad news: bicycles count as vehicular traffic. This interpretation appears to be unique to the People’s Republic of Cornwallparktrustia.

  5. GregN, you are absolutely right that it is crazy for each of us (i.e.the tax payer) to subsidise someone else to buy an ev. It makes much more economic sense to discourage everyone from what most of us regard as poor behaviour, that is driving carbon emitting vehicles. As Lester Levy says, we have done it with cigarettes.

    The NZ new vehicle tax at 15% is very low by world standards and could reasonably be increased. The counter argument is that we need more efficient new vehicles in our fleet. No, actually we need ev’s or people using public transport or cars.

    It may also be reasonable to increase the annual licensing cost because as more and more people turn away from owning cars it seems less and less reasonable for them to fund the cost of them through general taxation.

    I am less convinced than you that the National party has any real commitment in the area of climate change. Yes they realise that it is necessary, but seem petrified to get a single voter offside. Look today at the Green announcement to reduce the rubbish mountain. Scott Simpson’s immediate response was, just another tax. Yes another tax.but more than reasonable that if you are causing a problem then it’s you that fixes it? Is that not the National mantra, user pays?

    And yes Heidi the answer is not to just move people from carbon emitting cars to evs – that doesn’t fix congestion and nor does it help with obesity as you mention; and car ownership can help some to remain poor.

  6. https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

    This is the latest world temperature chart and if it carries on we will be at 2C by 2040 and now we have fracking being used to extract gas it looks like it could get worse. Dr Anthony Ingraffea a retired Professor of engineering Cornell University put out this video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6j0y8ml74E&t=353s

    If these scenarios play out as indicated by the raw data we don’t have much time to act and EV or any type of personal transport that uses more energy than absolutely necessary is criminal, we can’t do much about North America but it doesn’t mean we should give up, our grand kids futures are at stake.

    Electric cars seem to use about 200w to 400w per Km that’s 35 times more than my EV recumbent tadpole trike. for those wondering what a tadpole means it’s driving wheel is at the back and it has 2 wheels at the front,. it’s battery is 10amp by 36v a ride of 35km reduced the state of charge to 50% thats about 200w with charging losses. but I was peddling as well and haven’t added those watts.

    1. Just a quick word on power and energy here:

      Watts are a measure of power – i.e. the amount of oomph you have to push you along. The number of Watts is not dictated by how far you go. You can have an e-bike giving you 200W for 1Km, or 200W for 100Km – it is still the same 200W. Power determines how fast you go, and more power will allow you to do the same distance faster, but is not something you use-up as you go further.

      Watt-hours, or Kilowatt-hours, or Kilojoules or Calories are all units of energy, and these DO get used up the further you go. So if you have an e-bike giving you 200W of power and you ride it for 1 hour consistently at that power-level, you will use 200 Watt-hours (or 0.2 KWh, or 720KJ) of energy out of your battery. And unless you can somehow regenerate it, once you have used it, it has gone.
      Energy is what enables you to keep going and going (you know – like the Energizer Bunny).

      So in crude terms:
      – Power gives you speed
      – Energy gives you distance

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