Earlier this year the Climate Change Commission (CCC) consulted on their draft recommendations to the government on how to meet our domestic 2030 and 2050 emissions targets. There was certainly a lot to be positive about in it, particularly the linking of transport emissions to urban form but at the same time we also felt they weren’t anywhere near ambitious enough around the potential role for mode-shift in helping to meet our targets. This would result in New Zealand needing a much larger and faster update of electric vehicles, a prospect something the Ministry of Transport don’t think was feasible in their current consultation on ways to reduce emissions.

Last week the CCC released their final advice and it seems they’ve taken on some of the concerns we and others raised about ambition. This is what they say about transport.

We have recommended three areas for the Government to focus on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. They are:

  • Reducing the reliance on cars (or light vehicles) and supporting people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Government needs to support this change with clear targets, plans to meet those targets, and substantial increases to funding.
    Local government plays an important role in changing how people travel, and it needs more support from central government to do the job well. This includes enabling them through legislation, removing regulatory barriers, and providing increased and targeted funding.
  • Rapidly adopting electric vehicles (EVs). Ambitious policies are needed to address supply and cost constraints, and bring more EVs into the country. Aotearoa should import more efficient vehicles until EVs are widely available and affordable.
  • Beginning work now to decarbonise heavy transport and freight. Government should develop a national low-emissions freight strategy, that includes moving more freight by rail and sea. It should also encourage the production and use of low emissions fuels, such as biofuels, electricity, and green hydrogen.

Changes in our final advice

Our final advice is more ambitious, compared to our 2021 Draft Advice for Consultation, around shifting the way New Zealanders travel and supporting better infrastructure for walking and cycling. It places less emphasis on private vehicle use, although accelerating EV uptake is still key to achieving our emissions budgets.

We have moved the section on urban form to the multi-sector chapter, and have conducted further analysis into this area to highlight its system-level importance.

More detail on the benefits of reducing emissions from transport, including health and environmental benefits, have been added.

We heard through consultation that the role of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen for heavy transport, was underplayed in our 2021 Draft Advice for Consultation. In response, we have been more fuel-neutral in our discussion of low-carbon fuel options.

We have also taken a broader and more ambitious approach to heavy transport and freight, which considers efficiency and shifting to lower-emissions alternatives such as shipping and rail, rather than solely focusing on increasing low-carbon fuels.

As for the recommendations themselves, here are the specifics for the first one – reducing reliance on cars.

And that leads to these progress indicators.

It’s great that they took onboard then need to be more ambitious and want targets for mode-shift but it’s a shame they haven’t put any figures around what that should be. Though I guess the work from the Ministry of Transport will help significantly in that regard and they suggest that we’ll need to reduce the number of kilometres we travel in light vehicles by 40% by 2035 and over 55% by 2050.

For the trips we can’t avoid or shift to other modes we will need to increase the uptake of electric vehicles and the CCC have recommendations for that seem similar to the draft, including suggestions such as a ban on new vehicles with internal combustion engines sometime between 2030 and 2035 and other measures to improve uptake.

And on that issue, on Sunday Transport Minister Michael Wood announced the government would introduce a rebate scheme, similar to what was consulted on during the previous term but then blocked by NZ First.

Clean car package to drive down emissions

  • New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used.
  • Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence.
  • Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 to continue to grow the nationwide EV charging network and support other low emission refuelling networks.
  • Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide available to help guide potential buyers.
  • Govt intends to set up EV sector leadership group to help increase uptake.
  • Proposed Sustainable Biofuels Mandate to prevent over a million tonnes of emissions while Kiwis switch over to electric.
  • The Government is taking action in line with the advice of the Climate Change Commission to increase the uptake of low emission vehicles by introducing a range of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target and create jobs to support the economic recovery.

“Our transport emissions are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand so we need to start taking action now if we are going to meet our 2050 targets,” Transport Minister Michael Wood said.

“New Zealand is actually lagging behind on the uptake of EVs, so we are playing catch up internationally. Our monthly registrations of EVs are around half the global average and sales are well below the 50 per cent of monthly sales seen in some European countries.

“We’ve already committed to policies that will make a difference, like the Clean Car Import Standard, decarbonising the public transport bus fleet and revitalising rail, but we have to do more.

“A discount on electric, hybrid and low emission vehicles funded from a fee on higher emitting ones is the best policy to increase low emissions vehicle uptake in New Zealand.

“It’s a common policy overseas, a recommendation of both the Climate Commission and the Productivity Commission, and is supported by the likes of the Motor Industry Association – it’s time to get moving with it.

“The Clean Car Discount will make it cheaper for New Zealanders to buy electric and low emission cars. It will prevent up to 9.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and will help with the upfront cost of switching over with Kiwis getting up to $8,625 back.

“We’ve made some changes to the policy proposed last term, so only cars under $80,000 and safer models are eligible for rebates. Rebates will begin from July 1 while fees on higher emitting vehicles to help fund the scheme won’t begin until 1 January 2022. The rebates will also expand from 1 January to include low emission vehicles, not just electric and plug-in hybrids.

“Importantly the policy only applies to new and used cars arriving in New Zealand, so the existing second hand market of cars that lower income families tend to purchase from will not be affected.

The government have also given an indication of what the rebates and fees would be once fully implemented.

They’ve also provided indications of what the changes will mean for some of the most common vehicles being sold.

And the process

In general this seems pretty good and it’s great to see the government following through with it despite the criticism from some. The main criticism seems to be that it’s some form of reverse Robinhood – taking from the poor to give to the rich. This seems to be a bad strawman argument mainly by those just wanting to maintain the status quo. Here are a couple of reasons but there are many more.

  • Those in lower socio-economic groups are much less likely to be buying new cars and existing cars in the fleet are exempt from any charges.
  • As the examples above show, there are plenty of vehicles which have emissions low enough that they attract no fee, people can always go for those.
  • Climate change doesn’t care about socio-economic status and so we need to do something. What’s the alternative they suggest?

Noticeably some vehicle manufacturers are already making the most of it.

The main additional thing I’d like to see is for it, or some other scheme, to also apply to e-bikes. That top level rebate could easily pay for up to six e-bikes and combined with better and faster roll out of bike infrastructure could make a significant dent in both emissions and congestion.

Finally, this along with other recent announcements such as the changes to the NZ Upgrade Programme and light rail do highlight the government, or at least Michael Wood, are starting to get serious about climate change. There’s obviously a lot more to do but so far seems Wood could end up the most positively transformational Minister of Transport we’ve seen – and long may he continue.

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  1. Low price E-bikes could make some difference in small towns where providing adequate local PT is difficult. Many NZ small towns are also relatively poor and getting EVs into those communities will be a challenge.

    1. There is no easy access to public transport for cyclists in Auckland.

      You are forced to bike alongside the cars or together with pedestrians.

  2. I keep reading that this is an attack on farmers and rural people. I guess it is kind of crap that the tax is in the purchase price not in the fuel price, so even if you only need to use a gas guzzler very infrequently you get lumped with the whole tax. In saying that how many people buy a brand new vehicle to use very infrequently?
    I still think they would have been better off taxing the fuel rather than new cars, that would have a much bigger effect.

    1. We have been importing so many new doublecab utes over the last few years that there is going to be a great secondhand market for years to come for anyone who needs to tow a trailer or use them for agricultural purposes.

      1. Interestingly as well you will still be able to purchase a Ford Ranger XLT double cab turbo diesel and pay ZERO fee. It has 177g CO2/km and is under the threshold. The 4wd version will have a few if approx $500. So there’s really nothing for them to stress about. The threshold is very conservative.

    2. Farmers and tradespeople’s vehicles tend to be owned by their companies and subject to a whole bunch of tax deductibility already.

      1. From what I observe it’s exactly why they both tend to buy new vehicles, great tax deprecation % I’m sure with vehicles and they get a low maintenance, nicer, more efficient etc vehicle compared to an older one.

    3. This is the common talking point, but really everyone is in the same boat. Doesn’t matter where the carbon is produced it has to be reduced.

      The next point is that farmers really dont need as many hiluxes as they think they do. One per farm type deal is pretty reasonable, for those times where you actually need to tow something that is a bit heavy. The vast majority of trips into town would be better of in a car. Picking up a couple things from wrightsons or the vet or supermarket doesn’t need a hilux or suv. Most equipment is delivered, and super heavy loads are towed with a tractor that you need to unload the thing anyway. The role that only the hilux can do is very limited if you actually think about it.
      On farm day to day shifting sheep etc you’re better off with smaller lighter vehicles, motor bikes, or side by sides, or old modified 4 wheel drive, really light suvs (like the little old rav 4 with super grippy tires). These vehicles dont usually go on the road and you can get a special class of rego / wof for this too thats cheaper.

      1. +1

        The farmers I know use motorbikes (2 wheelers or quads) and ATVs for day to day getting around the farm. Utes are less economical to run and simply aren’t very good at accessing hill country farms cause they aren’t that great off-road (poor approach, breakover and departure angles). They all still own utes but those are more for running errands to town.

      2. Actually it matters a great deal where the carbon is produced. If it is ancient carbon that has been stored in the ground for millennia from when the earths atmosphere was just CO2 and Nitrogen, putting that carbon back into the atmosphere will result in rising CO2 levels. Taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to grow fuel, and then burning those fuels will not increase CO2 levels.

        1. You said it mattered where it was produced, and then went on to talk about how the fuel was produced.

          I don’t disagree with your speal, but It had essentially nothing to do with my point, or your first line.

        2. OK. I thought you were saying it doesn’t mater where the carbon comes from. I though this was the classic mistake of giving equal value to recent and ancient sources of carbon. My bad.

    4. Farmers are essentially saying that this tax will make it cost prohibitive for them to continue running multiple huge vehicles. That’s the whole point of the tax though.

    5. It is misdirected. Carbon emissions are the problem so they should be taxed. Does anybody care what size vehicle people use? Does it matter if you use a big vehicle to carry one large load or a small vehicle to make multiple trips?
      This isn’t addressing the problem, it is making other problems.

      1. I see it is perhaps slightly unfair on farmers in a sense, but we all need to adapt (and I’m sure the global market will also). Also to be quite honest, we really need to suppress the dudes with these big things in urban areas that actually don’t need them for other urban reasons. Hog a lot of space, so easy for them to park up on paths, bike lanes, grass verges etc etc and leap speed tables no problem. They are very dangerous when up against pedestrian & micro mobility transport.

        1. OK so we don’t like them. But do people really think our country will be better off with the government deciding what is an appropriate vehicle for others to use?

          Surely the issue is emissions. So the Government should target emissions with a large tax and leave people to figure out what equipment they should buy. The problem with that approach is we have an army of policy analysts who think everyone else is stupid and who genuinely believe the world can be fixed by policy written by them. Yet they don’t understand why the world is the way it currently is, so there is a fat chance they will improve things

        2. @miffy: you seem to have missed the point that the fee is based on emissions. High emissions, big fee. Low emissions, rebate.

        3. No it isn’t. Emissions are caused by the size of engine and how long you run it for. The fee is the same regardless of how long you run your engine for. Someone with a big engine pays the same regardless of how much they use it. So perversely it is a disincentive to buy, but once you own then there is no disincentive to use it for every trip. That is why you should tax fuel not the machine it goes into.

          What we now have is a scheme where those who can’t afford an EV subsidise those who can afford one. It is regressive.

      2. “Does it matter if you use a big vehicle to carry one large load or a small vehicle to make multiple trips?”

        Of course it does, because we know that the usual pattern is for bigger vehicles to be used for a large load only rarely. The rest of the time they’re just functioning as Single Occupancy Vehicles.

        1. Which is why sensible countries have a carbon tax. This scheme is a one off tariff and once you have paid it you may as well use your big ute as a single person conveyance.

      3. As Transport is already captured in the Emission Trading Scheme, the Clean Car programme will have no impact on overall emissions.

        1. What changes do you think need to be made to the ETS to convince people (including the CCC) that the cap really is binding? e.g. remove price cap? fix the unit cap so it’s not so vulnerable to political whims?

    6. If there was a viable biofuels industry in NZ and readily available synthetic petrol taxing high emissions vehicles becomes problematic as those vehicles would become low emissions vehicles when using biofuels. You have to consider the carbon source when you consider the carbon emissions. If the carbon source is the atmosphere to grow the fuel then burning the fuel would result in net carbon zero. Burning fuel in an engine will still result in generating oxides of nitrogen and unburn hydrocarbons so not totally clean. The proposal to ban ICE vehicles would make investment in biofuels untenable. Bio fuels would be a much cleaner solution for countries like Australia that gets about 80% of its electricity from coal generation. Incidentally Australia has a large landmass in a rain shadow around the tropic of Capricorn on it western side. This results in high daylight hours per year and high solar intensity and marginal land not suitable for farming. This would be ideal for something like saltwater algae culture using pumped in sea water.

  3. Wood has been great for actually doing something. He’s had pretty much the same talking points as previous ministers, but this time the projects and actions are starting to match.

    Couple points. They talk about lower carbon freight, but no mention of it in this scheme, are heavy trucks busses etc exempt? It wouldn’t add that much to the final price tag anyway I suppose as a percentage.

    I am particularly interested in how in rural communities they plan on reducing emissions. Will the government get involved in and subsidise the long distance bus game again? I was travelling the country a couple summers ago without a car and it was amazing just how useless and uncompetitive the network is. I had to hitchhike a decent amount, which was certainly interesting. I presume EVs will play a much larger role, but perhaps between closer, more populated settlements they will add a path to the side of the highway? Some government funding and support for projects like this (that is currently roadblocked by DOC, and have been taken to court a couple times by the local council) : https://fiordlandtrails.nz/

  4. I know they don’t want this scheme to look like it’s paying for rich peoples Tesla’s etc but surely even if someone is buying a Tesla etc that’s an EV it’s helping compared to a high emissions sports car? Perhaps Evehicles over $80k should have a $1000 capped rebate…

    1. Would $1000 really sway your decision at that kind of money anyway? I think the $80k cap is sensible.

      1. Yeah, the goal is to sway as many decisions as possible, seems like on an 80k car a couple grand is highly unlikely to sway anything.

      2. Who knows it’s still something, and I’m guessing that luxury sports cars are going to be charged the higher fee. $1000 is still $1000 and I guess a lot of richer people didn’t get that way by wasting money… (obviously not all).
        There will also be people who save up for it to be their dream car (not exactly rare for people to buy a car above what their budget should be).

    2. Which is why the UK and many others have a Luxury car tax. My Jaguar is cleaner then most ICEs but due to its list price I pay 3 times the amount of car tax (Rego) that I do for my cheaper but more polluting Hyundai.

      NZ needs to adopt it to stop socioeconomic imbalances.

    1. Yeah Miffy. I used to be very pro EV, but given the fact we are now burning coal again to make electricity is a great travesty. Our hydro lakes might permanently be low in the future due to climate change.

      I guess the only saving grace is that EVs will mostly be charged overnight when hydro power is cheap.

      Long term we will probably be ok as we keep investing into renewable alternatives.

      1. We never stopped burning coal / gas. Just recently our generation from fossil fuels has been 30% instead of the usual 20%. It’s still vastly more carbon efficient to use an ev than an ice car under these conditions.

        1. You are making the mistake of looking at average supply. Any marginal increase has to be met from coal at least in the short term. So if I go out and buy an EV today (or in a few weeks to harvest the subsidy) then it will increase demand and that will more likely to from coal. Fact is we don’t have a great surplus in hydro available anymore.

        2. I would argue all existing uses and all additional uses are sharing the additional coal generation equally.

          This “was here first” mentality doesn’t help, and doesn’t reflect the fact that if I turn my heat pump on in Auckland I am burning 30% non renewable energy. The electrons are all the same, and dont care where they end up dropping their energy.

          Regardless, if we increase the share of EV’s starting now, building more renewable energy is a solvable problem. And looks to be getting underway. Whereas if we just kept the status quo (importing the same number of pure ICE’s), there wouldn’t even be the opportunity to use renewables for these vehicles in the future. Chicken vs egg argument.

        3. My EV is charged by my solar panels mostly. When there’s not enough sun, or I can’t charge it at that time, it is charged by the grid, but with Vector in control of the rate of charge. They have control over the maximum rate my charger will deliver. Generally, it charges quickly off-peak, but slowly during the peak. A kind of ripple control, like for hot water cylinders. Surely if we proceed like that, to avoid much increase in peak load, whilst adding more generation, we can maintain and improve the percentage of renewable energy used, rather than coal. So, less coal and less petrol.

        4. Wind and solar have the lowest marginal costs for new electricity generation. Therefore increased demand will be met by increased wind and solar generation. Renewables are all intermittent (including hydro in dry years) so they need some form of security of supply backup. That has been Huntly coal and gas generation – which is why coal use is high now because we have had a dry year and gas generation shutdowns. The government has started the NZ Battery programme to look at renewable alternatives, like Onslow.

        5. Wind has the lowest marginal cost so long as you don’t include the idle coal fired power station you need as backup. Include the cost of another Huntly and wind doesn’t look so good.

        6. Fraggle said “My EV is charged by my solar panels mostly. ”
          I think that is going to be the ideal combination. Truly renewable power combined with an EV that can use it during the periods most household dont actually need so much power.

        7. The marginal cost of PV at night is essentially infinite and it is at night when, by my reckoning, most EV owners will want to charge their vehicles. For that reason wind is a better option as its output is spread across a 24 hour period and chargers can be set up to respond to price (supply) signals to make the best use of renewables.

          That being said I have surplus PV in the middle of the day and have installed a PV inverter with capacity to add another 5 kW of generation capacity. In the process of rewiring the garage with a 3 phase outlet and a 16A outlet on the solar phase to keep my options open.

        8. MFD – our car is in the garage six days a week typically, so I’m sure there’s a number of people who would benefit, however I agree it doesn’t really work for those parking at work.

      2. An EV powered by coal produced electricity is still greener than a petrol or diesel version of the same vehicle.

        1. Yep said EV is greener over both day to day operations (i.e. any time the EV moves using that coal powered grid for each km it is driven) and also over its total lifetime emissions.

        2. Don’t think that is true. EV’s are greener in most countries but not in Poland where the grid is almost all coal fired. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51977625
          But as we noted earlier you have to think about marginal use. If the renewable supply is already utilised then buying an EV will mean more coal gets burned. If we have a big surplus of hydro it is worth getting one, if the hydro is already spoken for then maybe not.

        3. its also worth noting that there is some advantage to shifting the pollution out of the more heavily built up areas and moving it to less populated areas. Sucks for the smaller population where it was moved to, but still overall it is better from a pollution effects point of view.

        4. @miffy

          Oh yes it is greener, even in Kentucky and many US states (and by extrapolation also in luddite Poland too) and any places where the grid is almost 100% coal powered.

          Suggest you go you and do your homework before spouting off your usual “I reckons” about stuff. The Union of Concerned Scientists in the US have verified this fact even for 100% coal powered grids.

          Even the text of the BBC story you linked to eventually debunks the myth:
          “The study’s lead author, Dr Florian Knobloch from the University of Nijmegen said: “The idea that electric vehicles could increase emissions is a complete myth.”

          ’nuff said? Not the headline you wanted?

          Secondly, all this discussion is about Climate Change and EVs in NZ, yes I am sure you could find a outlier example of the case where an EV is charged off a diesel generator somewhere in the planets showing poorer outcomes than just tipping said diesel into the tank of the vehicle.

          In fact we do have one of those outliers in Stewart Island, so you don’t have to look far to find one – but its a exception, NOT the rule.

          And DOC has already pledged fix that issue by adding renewable energy to the electricity grid used to charge the EV on Stewart Island – so longer term the issue will correct itself.

          And in any case, that vehicle is already in service so won’t get any feebates.

          Do not loose sight of the fact that the issue/plan is not making use case of an EV 100% zero polluting compared to fossil fuels, its making our overall emissions lower over time.

          EV will achieve that sooner and more practically than any other option on the table. If you have a better solution available today, lets hear it.

        5. Genisis have suggested one option for dry years is to burn woodwaste at Huntly presumably displacing a percentage of coal and gas. Seems not a bad idea as there is rail access to the power station. So big stock piles in all North island forestry areas on the train and into the furnaces when required. Apparently 4 million tonnes of wood waste is left on the forest floor after logging each year.

        6. Greg N perhaps you didn’t read it very well. They said EV’s are better in 95% of the world. The exceptions are where the grid relies almost entirely on coal. At least I linked an article. Not only did you just ‘reckon’ but you then reckoned I reckoned.

    2. The extra anticipated electricity demand might be the nudge the government needs to start investing in electricity infrastructure again, something it hasn’t seriously done since Rogernomics. The noises they’ve been making around the NZ Battery Project sound quite positive in that Lake Onslow seems to be their default position. That would then enable a lot of renewable-but-unreliable generation like solar and on-shore wind.

      1. I am so keen for that Onslow project to go ahead, and hopefully another smaller one for shorter balancing time frames in the north island. A couple projects that would enable an enormous amount more financially viable renewables.

        1. Onslow is not a very good solution to the problem of powering the country. It is a very expensive solution to buffering intermittent wind turbine generation in the south island. The additional interisland losses don’t make it look very good for anything else.
          What we need is more generation in the north island. Practically this means geothermal, and we’ve got plenty that could be developed before needing to think about Nuclear. We could add more wind turbines but their intermittent generation needs backup, for which we must vary flows from our hydro schemes. There is a limit to what can be accommodated, and I feel we’re probably already close enough. We don’t want week long blackouts like South Australia had a couple of years ago. Their battery was very expensive, and only holds minutes of supply.

        2. +1 Jack!
          Onslow really will be transformative for NZ.
          For people unaware, Onslow has the potential to have more storage potential than the ENTIRE NZ hydro system! It’s main purpose will be to store water (like a battery hence the term NZ battery project) for a dry year. That is great in itself, but the real gem is that by having it you can unlock a s**t ton of wind and solar generation. You need to have a back up to wind and solar since they can’t and don’t always operate. That pushes the price up, but by having Onslow you have that covered.
          Onslow would pay for itself from reduced power prices, while it also helps the current hydro schemes to be optimised (since they don’t have to hold back so much storage for winter).

      2. What we need yesterday is a 1000 megawatts of new base load Geothermal production. I believe the resource consents have being granted just need some one to build it. Maybe the Govt will have to do it.

        1. Agree, although geothermal is not completely clean.

          The problem at the moment is uncertainty about Tiwai Point. With potential for Manapouri’s power to be added to the grid at some point generators are very cautious about building any new plants.

        2. Manipouri is 800MW and Tahara 2 being built now is another 150MW. There is a big infrastructure spend though to move the Manipouri power north, including an upgrade to the cook straight DC link I believe

        3. DC link upgrade was done years ago by Transpower.

          Only money to be spent to get Manapouri power north is to close the gap between Clyde dam and the Upper Waitaki valley lines (which has the mouthful of CUWLP – “Clutha to Upper Waitaki Lines Project”). Currently slated to be completed end of 2022.
          Total projected cost for that about $220m last I read.
          And it was ahead of time and budget.

          @Jezza yes Geothermal emits some 20+ g of CO2e per kWh according to ProdCom. So its no free pass, although most of that comes from the older plants that don’t re-inject the spent thermal fluids back into the field [and let the spent steam out to the air instead]. Modern plants do re-inject, so little of the gases in the thermal fluid escape meaning newer plants CO2 profile is way lower.
          Note: Geothermal emits more than just CO2 gases, some N2O and SO2 there so thats why its CO2e.

          Still Geothermal beats coal hands down – any day of the week.

        4. Geothermal fields in limestone geology do admit more co2 I believe the Ngawha field in Northland is the worst offender.

        5. @Greg “older plants that don’t re-inject”
          Does NZ have any of those? Wairakei was built that way in the 50s but has been doing fluid injection for decades.

        6. @Royce “I believe the Ngawha field in Northland is the worst offender.”

          Yep, that would be true. But still better than the emissions efficiency the old Marsden A and B power plants could ever have achieved for sure.

          Its not just re-injecting its having the thermal fluid remain in a totally closed loop so that it never gets a chance to release its gases in the fluid to the air before its returned to the geothermal field it came from.

          Waiaraki does now re inject fluids but AFAIK it doesn’t work in a totally closed loop like the newer system do. So the gases like CO2 dissolved in the fluid are released during the steam creation process and then the cooled steam/fluid is then condensed and returned to the depths for another go around.

        7. “The problem at the moment is uncertainty about Tiwai Point.”

          It is going to be repurposed to make aluminium-air batteries for heavy vehicles

      3. I am not sure why we will need a battery when we are all plugging a big battery into the grid every night?

        1. A) Because thats not during the day or when peak power loads are.
          B) why on earth would we want to use the batteries we have to physically move around to do the duty of balancing the fixed grid. It would encourage car batteries to be larger and heavier and therefore make transport less efficient. Plus we dont want to rely on any chemical battery for grid balancing. These should be minimised and used for places that actually need that functionality.
          C) Shifting water is a very long term solution that can provide energy storage on the scales needed with todays tech.
          D) They solve different energy problems. Car batteries might be used to solve short term fluctuations to prevent a grid shutdown in an absolute pinch. But they would do nothing for the months or even just a day or two scale energy shortages that could be produced from a dry year, and it not blowing that day.

        2. I imagine every household having a setup where the household’s power can be automatically drawn from the car instead of the grid when prices get high (yes I know it can’t be done yet but its not impossible by any means). That would ease load off the grid when needed. Sounds much easier than pushing power back into the grid.
          Although I had only considered fluctuations not long term energy shortages. What about using used car battery farms for that?

        3. Not sure that EV manufacturers would sign up to this as it would increase the charge-discharge cycles of the battery and so the life would be reduced affecting warranties etc.

        4. Exactly wayne. As far as I see it this should only even be considered under extreme circumstances to stabilize the grid in an emergency. Or when power prices are incredibly high.
          Cars with chemical batteries are an extremely poor place to put a grid or houses storage.
          It would incentivize manufacturers to add even more heavier batteries to cars decreasing their efficiency. And increase our reliance on chemical batteries for tasks that longer lasting mechanical solutions exist for, and are better.

    3. Miffy, if you’re going to argue on marginal increases in demand for electricity, you should look at marginal increases in supply. The Turitea wind farm will be turned on in a few weeks and add enough electricity for 210,000 EVs. Plenty more where that came from, we will go from 80% to 90% renewable in the next four years.

      Interestingly on the National Party Facebook page, the replies to the anti-“Labour’s Car Tax” ad are all about how we’re burning so much coal at Huntly. Seems to indicate that National voters are concerned about burning fossil fuels at least to some extent.

  5. This is about changing the fleet over time. The negative reaction against is childish and dangerous. It is, by international standards, a very light intervention in the market. NZ has a ridiculously undertaxed vehicle regime which has helped lead to our wealth and wellbeing destructive over-use of vehicles and and liquid fuels for transport (and consequent shitty urban form). This and the new standard go a small way towards bringing some balance to our dumping ground market of low quality oversized and underpriced vehicles.

  6. In UK, they use the engine capacity for insurance cover. The smaller the engine the cheaper the insurance, the bigger the engine, the insurance are expensive. This why there are lot of small cars in UK. Ute are rare and the trade people use van as it can carry lot of stuff inside.

    Also I am disappointed that there is no mention of e-bike rebate. I would love an e-bike but is it expensive and having a rebate will encourage me to buy one.

    1. Ute’s are not rare any more my son and my Jaguar is cheaper to insure then my i30. Age, parking and vehicle security control costs more now then engine size.

  7. love the comment Miffy ‘EV’s are going to be huge. They will allow us to import less petrol and import more coal instead’. spot on.

    The evehicle rebate scheme is a massively dumb initiative by a transport minister who will be found out in time as weak and inept. Cheapest rate power for recharging batteries is produced by coal. The rebate scheme is of no practical use to low income society. Its classic champagne socialism. Move the left boundary right and attract more right leaning wealthy to the flock to stifle an opposition in disarray. The strategy is pure politics and will have a marginal effect on net carbon emissions when you factor in the true cost of evehicle production, battery replacement, battery disposal. Rebates for bicycles maybe or rebates for public transport use maybe but rebates for wealthy private vehicles? You’ve got to be f…ing kidding me.

    1. Actually it is classic carrot and stick: the carrot given to EV buyers and the stick thrashing the gas guzzlers. All very sensible. It was never meant to be a rebate for the poor but it was done in a way to not target the poor.
      We have plenty of spare green electricity available at night to charge EVs, coal is definitely not cheaper overnight. Maybe some more work is needed to pass those cheaper rates on to consumers so they do charge overnight, but first we need to increase uptake (which these changes will most definitely do).

    2. Coal even without a ETS carbon tax is the most expensive electricity generator. It is only used as a last resort.

      1. Actually the last resort is to install diesel generators…and it is happening at some industrial installations in NZ. Lower apparent cost than paying spot prices from the grid.

  8. Transport Minister Michael Wood:
    “Importantly the policy only applies to new and used cars arriving in New Zealand, so the existing second hand market of cars that lower income families tend to purchase from will not be affected.”

    This statement is delusional. It destroys confidence in the analysis done in support of this policy.

    1. The existing second hand market will be affected a little, but only indirectly. The resale value of existing EVs has just been reduced by a few thousand dollars so there will be a lot more $7K Leafs for sale. The median sale price for all cars on trademe is about $20K and a million cars are sold every year. I suspect there is quite a lot of activity around $10K so I would expect a pickup in EV resales as well as a result. Hardly enough to call the statement “delusional” though.

  9. It sounds like a great idea to boost EV take-up. But a question for the economists: by increasing people’s ability to pay/increase demand won’t the scheme result in EV prices increasing over time? Or at least slow price reduction in the EV market?

    Also, I agree it would really help if they supported e-bikes and e-scooters more. It could open up greater use of public transport by resolving the last-mile trip component of using public transport (the bigger CCC target). Or it might make some trips viable just using ebike. In my circumstance, the bus stop/station is a 25min walk at each end so adds too much travel time to make public transport viable. An e-scooter I could carry onto the bus or e-bike I could leave in a secure locker would address that.

  10. I have found EV owners to be a bit pretentious, but the reality is that factoring in manufacturing carbon emissions and coal electricity, their pretentiousness would seem unjustified. Until electricity is truly renewable, EVs will not solve the problem. A government subsidy for household solar power would go a long way to addressing this issue, but I imagine the power lobby would not be keen on this. Moving away from commercial power sourcing is a good answer, as they have proved more than happy to dump water and buy coal to keep the power price where they want it. How about a solar package that comes with your new EV, say at half price? And rebates on E bikes and E scooters?

    1. EV’s aren’t perfect they are better.

      And don’t let perfect be the enemy of better.

      Don’t ignore the fact that just mining/pumping, refining and transporting fossil fuels around (before you even burn it in your cars engine), generates an awful lot of CO2 emissions. Fuel refineries use a ton of water and Mega Watt hours of electricity to do their business. Getting rid of Marsden Point refinery will do wonders for Northlands emission profile, even with Ngawha geothermal outputting tonnes of CO2 emissions 24×7.

      Study after study by unbiased scientific institutions such as Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has shown every time that any EV, even one powered/charged from a Grid that runs on 100% coal, achieves an effective operational efficiency emissions wise (i.e at the vehicles wheels) that is the same or better than a fossil fuelled vehicle achieving about 60+ “Miles per (UK) Gallon” in fuel efficiency. For the metric record thats a fuel efficiency of under 5 litres per 100km. Even when burning 100% coal to run your electricity grid.

      Or to put it another way.

      Any EV that runs solely on “coal power” will be lower in CO2 emissions than just about 99% of all other vehicles on the road along side it.

      As the NZ grid is already typically 80+% renewables (20% coal/gas at most) most of the time, and currently around 72% renewable powered (i.e. 28% coal/gas right now) those emission figures of CO2 emissions for any EV charged/driven in NZ will be far better than that figure.

      Most of the CO2 emissions assumptions that are produced for why EVs are worse always use out of date emission intensity data from a decade ago, and make assumptions like: the battery is made in an inefficient factory in China that is using a 100% fossil fuelled grid, the raw materials in the battery are shipped from the other end of the planet to China and the battery in the EV needs to be replaced at least once in the EV’s lifetime, and that neither battery (original or replacement) is ever repurposed and/or recycled for new batteries and is just dumped in a landfill.

      Reality of actual manfuacturing data and real world battery degradation shows that the battery used in a modern EV like a Kona or Tesla does not have all these high emission assumptions embedded in it. The CO2 emissions allegedly embedded in the EV battery is nowhere near as the massively high figure that is quoted/assumed. And secondly modern EVs batteries (and no Leafs and their air cooled batteries don’t count here as modern) are so good that they will likely not need any replacement than in the lifetime of the EV and will last over 300,000 km before the battery is recycled.

      So the old hoary argument of if the EV is not using a 100% renewable power its far worse in overall emissions than any fossil fuelled gas guzzler is, and always was, total BS.

      EECA also did a study under NZ conditions whether we should prioritise EVs in NZ or solar panels on homes and concluded that for NZ as a whole encouraging an EV fleet is better for lowering our emissions over putting in solar panels on houses everywhere.
      Because our percentage of renewables on our grid is so high.

      This is the opposite to what is the situation in Australia and many other G20 countries as they have a very low proportion of renewables on their grids. So it makes sense to put more renewables in your grid first. Then get the EVs. Those other countries (Australia excepted) realise they need to do both.
      We’re in a somewhat luxurious position where we can just do one of these things and probably get away with it. But ideally we need to get more renwables in our grid and get more EVs on the road to replace the light vehicle fleet.

      We ideally need to get EV trucks as well but thats not something that is an option for NZ right now. We are doing something about EV buses however which is good.

      Secondly, over time the grid that uses fossil fuels will get cleaner over time as renewables are added to it even NZs grid will get a lot cleaner in the next 10-30 years- so your allegedly polluting EV (car, truck or bus) will be even less polluting over time compared to its equivalent fossil fuelled equivalent – as the grid it charges from gets cleaner and cleaner.

      Few if any fossil fuelled vehicles made will ever produce *fewer* emissions over time – most will emit far worse emissions over time than when they did new due to age and lack of maintenance on the vehicle.

      1. I don’t think any arguments for EV’s that only considers emissions at the wheel can be taken seriously.
        If you look at how EVs compare, you need to look at ‘well to wheel’ emissions. In this case, a car running on electricity generated 100% from coal would have a bigger GHG emission than a gasoline powered vehicle.
        A study done based on the lifecycle CO2 emissions of a VW Golf (200,000 kms) showed only a 30% reduction of CO2 compared to the same diesel car. This was based on the EU electricity mix. This compares to a 60% reduction if the electricity is from 100% renewables.
        Interestingly, biofuels gave the best reduction at 75%.
        Fortunately NZ has (normally) 80% renewable powergen, but pretending that BEV’s are the best or only solution is just wrong.

        1. No one said EVs are perfect, or the only option.

          No reputable study that I have cited or read which has any credibility is other than a full well to wheels full lifetime comparison. Your mileage may vary depending on what studies you read and believe. But the evidence is clear and has been for 6 or more years. EVs are not worse than Fossil fuelled vehicles in a like for like comparison over their full lifetime.

          But even putting that aside, there are some basic facts you all need to acknowledge.

          We do need to reduce our light vehicle fleet by a lot to reduce emissions, then electrify all our remaining transport fleet (light., medium and heavy and buses) to meet the (legal) requirements of the Climate Change Act – which is actually the whole reason the government has (re)announced this feebate scheme in the first place.

          It is just the opening salvo on a 30+ year war on CO2 emissions. Particularly in transport.

          As for lifecycle comparisons – go read the UCS study or any other proper studies yourself you’ll see they compare the entire well to wheels for both EV and fossil fuelled vehicles (including manufacture and disposal) to make their conclusions that EVs even from 100% coal grids still outperform just about any fossil fuel vehicle in CO2 emissions.

          As for the VW study you quote, its Euro specific and doesn’t actually apply directly to our markets as the renewables proportion in the EU grid was and still is much lower than NZs – even in our current dry year for Hydro. And VW golfs are small cars in a NZ context compared to a lot of whats being added to our roads (lots and lots and lots of Double cab Utes and SUVs for example) many of which who will have up to twice the CO2 emissions per km than any fossil fuelled VW Golf used in the VW study had. Further preventing an apples for apples comparison.

          Even so, the VW study admits (in its fine print that almost no one prints and fewer read) that a e-Golf EV running on highly renewable electricity grid emits as little as 2 grams of CO2 per km – a tiny fraction of the equivalent fossil fuelled VW per km.

          Which means the e-Golf massively and quickly offsets the higher emissions content it has mainly due to battery manufacture. To end up being ahead within a short time after being put into service.

          The emissions incurred in making an EV (- excluding the battery) compared to a normal fossil fuelled vehicle of similar size and weight is about the same.

          The major additional emissions cost for an EV is in the battery manufacturing and that is one area where big improvements are continuously able , and are, being made.

          VW 2019 study cites nearly 50% of the total emissions in the e-Golf is in the battery manufacture. But within 10 years they (and almost all other EV makers) all say they will massively reduce that emissions profile in the battery down. That means by the end of the decade the emissions embodied in a EV battery will be reduced. Substantially.

          Fossil fuelled vehicles engines are about as efficient as they will ever get. Most of the big improvements for some time now in their efficiency have come from “electrification” or the process of adding Plug in Hybrid technology to a normal Fossil fuelled car making a PHEV. Which improves emissions from making more efficient use of the energy in the fossil fuel it burns to move.

          All in all, EVS available today are plenty *good enough* in a NZ electricity grid to actually move the needle on our CO2 transport emissions. And that effect will get better and better as our grid gets more renewables in it and also as EVs become more efficient to make and come with less “baggage” in the battery compartment from emissions from manufacture.

          Right now, an EV added to the NZ fleet will “pay back” its increased emissions within the first 1-2 years of its use. When its a second hand Jap Import EV, that emission “pay back” will have already been made before its exported here as a second hand Jap import – so its generally a no brainer to bring them to our fleet for even more emissions reduction benefit to NZ Inc. Btrand New EVs will be in the same boat within 1-2 years at worst.

        2. @ Greg N. You are right on the money from reading your comment I’m convinced. Any thoughts or do you know anything about the comment (above somewhere) where I link to the news hub article, have to watch the video.

        3. @Grant, I take it you refer to this comment you made on June 15, 2021 at 11:14 am
          About the Newshub item on a company extracting lithium from Taupos Geothermal fields by extracting dissolved geothermal fluids?

          Nice idea, Currently a solution looking for a problem in my view.

          I’m more interested in the other (non lithium) minerals extraction it enables. The volumes they can extract now are on a NZ (and world wide) scale very very small. So won’t make much difference to NZ or further afield.

          Thing is, Lithium is not an overly scarce element as people have you believe.
          It is after the third element on the periodic table of elements so is pretty common on earth and in the universe as a whole.

          Its found in reasonable amounts in plain old seawater, and there was at one point a NZ company (Pacific Lithium?) who were keen to extract it from the waters off Coromandel in the 80s and 90s which amounted to nothing in the end.

          According to this interesting video (voiced over by Robert Llewellyn of Red Dwarf/Scrapheap Challenge/Full Charged fame):


          50% of the worlds lithium is mined in Australia – without causing the water shortages and toxic waste messes so commonly blamed solely as being totally EV related.

          Nor are the so-called “rare earth” elements that EVs are blamed for gobbling up in spades, particularly rare. They are named as such as are rarely found in nature as simple compounds able to be extracted and used as is. And rather, they tend to be mixed up with lots of other rare earths, so when you extract/mine one rare earth you typically mine the rest as well. Some rare earths are in demand, some are not.

          So in some cases, mining rare earths causes stock piles of some other minerals with lower demand as a by product of mining the in-demand rare earths.

          But all-in-all its not the massive environmental disaster the Big Oil sponsored “EVs aren’t greener than X” brigades would have you believe.

          And secondly, almost no one who complains about any the environmental issues from making EVs and batteries ever for a single moment considers what 150%+ years of mining, burning and disposing of the waste products of fossil fuels has got us.

          But its is basically the sole reason why we even have to do anything about Climate Change at all!

          Seems those who helped cause or are part of the current situation think that EVs or whatever replaces fossil fuels should spring perfectly formed from nowhere without any trade offs or downsides. The world is not like that, there is always a trade off with everything you do (or do not do). But Big Oil pot calling the EV kettle black goes nowhere. And gets old real fast.

          The above video provides a pretty good look at all that. Worth the 13 or so minutes to watch if you’re interested [the link url above hopefully skips past the pre-amble for the actual video so you can watch it from the meaty part straight away].

          As I said earlier, EVs are NOT perfect but they are (a helluva lot) better than fossil fuels for transport were/are for the planet.

          We simply must not let Perfect be the enemy of Better in this argument or we will get nowhere.

          EVs are good enough for this job and have been for a while. And unlike fossil fuelled vehicles – EVs will only get cleaner over the next 30 years.

          Fossil fuels and the vehicles that run on them? Not. At. all.

          Basically, they’ve done their dash, its time for a better solution than burning dead dinosaurs and other shit in inefficient engines for transport.

          If it takes a minor stick and carrot to get people to change, so be it. Its the job of Governments to make these sorts of decisions on our behalf. Glad they are finally doing so.

        4. Thanks for the reply Greg N. “About the Newshub item on a company extracting lithium from Taupos Geothermal fields by extracting dissolved geothermal fluids?”
          Yes but they have moved from that initial trial or whatever to doing this in partnerships with another company in Cornwall, like you say I think just from everyday water or certain areas (that’s what I wasn’t sure on from the article)…I guess some areas would be more rich in the mineral.
          I’ll watch your video later, looks interesting.

        5. Let’s go first where we have common ground. Yes, we do need to reduce our light fleet by a lot to meet our climate change commitments.
          BEV’s could work well as a solution for NZ, but the challenges with getting this to work are being ignored by the Government. The rebate side of the feebate doesn’t go far enough to encourage enough people to go out and buy an EV. Frankly, it is a bit of a discount for upper income earners and a chance for EV importers to increase the sticker price. The fee side of the febate will probably result in the average Kiwi keeping their existing cars longer.
          But let’s assume that enough people went out and bought an EV, to make a meaningful dent in our LV transport emissions. Not only would there not be enough supply of vehicles to meet that demand, the charging infrastructure doesn’t exist today and I know from some work I am doing, that there would be a squeeze on the availability of transformers at even a modest EV uptake.
          Still, I agree that we need to try and get more EV’s into the NZ light vehicle fleet. I would challenge your statement that we should then electrify our remaining transport fleet.
          There are no suitable BEV heavy goods vehicles currently being manufactured that are available for the NZ market. The energy density of current batter technology is terrible and they just don’t work as replacements for milk tankers, logging trucks etc. Longer term it may be that BEV’s can do this, but for the moment, NZ will need to use Biofuels. In the longer term NZ should probably consider HFC rather than BEV as while both technologies are likely to make advances, Hydrogen is cleaner and more suited to NZ.
          What troubles me is your clinging to the notion that a BEV powered from 100% coal generated electricity is cleaner than gasoline. That simply is not the case. Yes the tail pipe emissions are obviously better than gasoline (even if Euro VI is quite clean burning), but the coal fired power station is very dirty on CO2 and you have the additional emission cost of making and disposal of the EV battery.
          Yes the VW comparison is Euro centric, but that is why I included stats on 100% renewable electricity. It was not in fine print, I said it was a 60% reduction.
          What the VW study (and others) show is that you get the best GHG reductions from biofuels and that the GHG reductions from BEV really depends on how you make the electricity.
          In your reply to Grant, you correctly point out that Lithium is not the supply problem. The supply problem is Cobalt, where we are running out. Also, 60% of the world’s Cobalt is in the DRC which is far from ideal.
          Yes, you can recycle the cobalt a few times, but you better start counting the GHG cost of that. You can replace the cobalt in the batteries with other metals, but you lose energy density and no one wants an EV that has even less range.
          So, while BEV’s can decarbonise our light vehicle fleet, they probably won’t be able to anywhere near the over optimistic level that the climate change commission think or the Government hope. And let’s not start about supply chain compliance. The oil industry might be disgusting, but unlike the lithium and cobalt mines, BP, Shell and Exxon are not employing child labour.

        6. “In the longer term NZ should probably consider HFC”

          Consider, then reject.
          Appallingly low efficiency and a whole bunch of wishful thinking on the part of the government. Their “green” paper on hydrogen was notable for its omissions and obfuscations.

    2. They are only pretentious in NZ as EVs are rare and expensive.

      My British employer (a very famous brand) activity pushes it’s staff to go EV, going especially far to help those at the bottom end of the socioeconomic ladder. Our big problem at work is trying to access chargers as many of us live far from work due to the cost of living in London and the round the clock nature of our work ruling out PT.

  11. Given that Minister Wood has surprised all of us with recent announcements about Akl cycle bridge and EV rebates, do we think that there might be an e-bike rebate or schools cycle infra announcement coming soon?

  12. I am super frustrated to hear the comment about us becoming a ‘dumping ground’. Cars in NZ already have to prove some degree of emissions compliance to get registered unless they receive an enthusiast exemption or are more than 20 years old. Last time I imported a car, this was EURO IV. The standards can be increased any time we like, but the point is they exist.

    I’ve had to learn to ignore some extremely interesting enthusiast cars that aren’t quite old enough to be exempt but don’t meet the current emissions standards and these comments heavily imply it’s some sort of free-for-all for passenger cars. It is not.

    1. “I am super frustrated to hear the comment about us becoming a ‘dumping ground’”

      Well like it or not, its true, NZ (and Australia) are right now dumping grounds for cars that can’t be sold elsewhere in the RHD driving world due to excessively high emissions.

      That fact was cited in the original analysis of the Clean Car Standard proposed back when NZ First (remember them) were in Gov’t.

      Many low emission vehicles currently sold in the UK and who are models also sold here by a lot of the vehicle makers simply said they would not supply those cars to NZ.
      Instead they fob us off with rubbish models with high emissions because they could get away with it. And they vehemently opposed any tightening up of the emission standards to even the UK levels on the grounds it would make their vehicles more expensive to NZ customers and so cost them sales.

      That situation won’t improve much either in the next 9+ years. So its been a problem, its a problem now, and will be an ongoing problem for the next 10 years.

  13. Nothing like an announcment on something Transport related to fire up the do nothing, complain about everything brigade.

    1. They’re often quite literally the same brigade that complain the government doesn’t deliver anything.

      With any luck those running the National party will continue to inhabit the same echo chamber and they will be a weak opposition for a good few years to come.

  14. One thing overlooked. It is fine getting an EV or whatever but the big problem is that we do not want more cars on the road. Traffic situation is Auckland is already bad and that is the problem. We need to sort out the Public transport properly, that is more bus lanes, bike lanes asap. Yesterday morning in Auckland it took an accident on SH20 motorway to put traffic into gridlock mode for an hour. It is happening too often everywhere when there is an accident.

    1. Totally, the evening peak north is now so bad the buses get held up from Fanshawe. Onewa road is an absolute joke as well. Liberate the lane for buses should be the priority

  15. come on joe, abc and jezza you can do better than that. Wood is fiddling at the edges while Rome burns. The government has a huge majority and was voted in to make societal change. This Ev scheme is wet behind the ears and provides minimal net carbon benefit. If you want to make transformational change in policy that benefits all society but is weighted to those on low income and the environment as a whole, make the first $20K of income tax free, remove gst on ebikes and make public transport to work tax deductible. This EV scheme is without any doubt, champagne socialism and you know it. Its a sop.

    1. I completely agree regarding having a tax free threshold, it would be one of the best forms of stimulus possible with a wobbly economy. However, I struggle to see how it would improve our emissions.

      I disagree that the government was voted in to make societal change, it was voted in to keep Covid out but a voting bloc that has little interest in serious change.

    2. The income tax bracket is kind of outside the realm of a transport and urban form blog, certainly this post, and most certainly the transport ministers transport policies,. I don’t disagree but still..

      Removing GST on certain products kind of defeats the purpose of GST, an extremely simple tax that costs less to administer than alternatives. Complicating it should be avoided. There are probably better mechanisms to subsidise e bike purchases. I think the subsidy should also primarily be to a class of commuter style normal bicycles. They are still what the majority of people should ride, are much cheaper and less resource heavy than e bikes, and are much less likely to be stolen, dont have to have battery replacements etc.

      Pretty much everyone agrees about the PT commute to work tax deduction here. No brainer. But that doesn’t mean this is a bad change.

      This policy is also a feebate, so this is as much (if not more) about discouraging large gas guzzling cars as it is about encouraging vehicles that tend to be smaller lighter hybrids which is also where a decent portion of the money will come from. Taxing the more wealthy, to subside mostly cheaper cars, a couple grand off a 10k Toyota aqua is well within the reach of the significant majority of NZers. Call this policy whatever you want, its a good change, hopefully there will be more.

      1. Normal bicycles are much cheaper than e-bikes anyway so that will sort itself out. A problem right now is that plain bicycles, due to being slower, appear much more dangerous to ride in traffic than e-bikes. For example if you’re in front of a traffic light on a plain bicycle and it is about to turn green, you’re pretty much screwed.

        A counterargument is that an e-bike often replaces trips that are too long to do on a regular bike.

        Related question, does anyone know why you don’t see more Vespas (and similar scooters) over here? There have been electric ones since a long time.

  16. “What’s the alternative they suggest?”

    [1 sentences later]

    “The main additional thing I’d like to see is for it, or some other scheme, to also apply to e-bikes.”

    I see what you did there.

    1. CNG was even more non-polluting – always seemed to be a better gas to use to me than LPG. But these things need a support network to function – CNG was mainly available only in the main centres (Auck/Wellington) with hardly any outlets in between, and so it died out rather quickly. LPG lasted a lot longer, but made sense more in the big vehicles like Falcons or Commodores, that came with a big boot in which to store the tank. Now they don’t make big Fords or Holdens any more, so when the market of outlets reaches the lower end of the critical mass to make it work, they will vanish completely.

      Similarly, and I don’t think that people get this yet – there is no infrastructure for Hydrogen refilling – and in time, when EVs get to be more common, there will come a time when Petrol stations will also cease to be. So the big problem for those who think that they may keep on using an old petrol car just for the weekend etc – there may be no petrol station available to use in a couple of decades time. And keeping a big 44 gallon drum full of petrol in your back yard for the next 50 years is not going to work either.

  17. Relevant to the discussion we were having last week about all the SUVs – have a read of this: https://www.driven.co.nz/news/end-of-an-era-nissan-looks-to-cease-sedan-production-for-japan/

    Japan, home of the car for the last 50 years: Nissan is going to stop making sedans.
    “New development plans for all four saloons will cease with resources diverted instead to the all-conquering sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and electric cars which Nissan will work on with its partners Mitsubishi and Renault. Nikkei reported Nissan sold 5800 sedans in Japan in 2020 accounting for just 1 per cent of sales.”


    “Globally, sedans now make up less than one in four cars sold. The type has fallen out of favour because they’re not as nippy as a hatchback nor as spacious as an SUV. Sedans also suffer from an image problem of being a sensible family car while SUVs are sportier and yet can carry all the kids to Saturday morning sports.”

      1. That move was made due to EU emissions requirements and that fact that Ford and Toyota own the Ute market in Europe.

  18. Don,t no why there isn’t a swap a dunger(car) for a e bike.It has a fourfold return
    1:Removes an old car off the road
    2:Removes a car off the road
    3:Removes a barrier to biking (cost)
    4:Health benefits
    All at no extra cost to what has been proposed, apart from the fact it would be wildly successful,and would require increased investment in cycling infrastructure.

  19. It seems strange that the government and the CCC seem unaware that out current fuel tax method is already a tax directly on pollution. The more gas you use, the more pollution you make and the more tax you pay.

    Subsidising the upper middle class to buy EVs doesn’t really seem an overly equitable way to go about things and does nothing to encourage people to drive less.

    1. Yes, fuel tax with some tweaks.
      Put a hard limit on the amount of petrol/diesel that can be imported into nz, and reduce that limit steadily to 0 by 2050 or whatever.
      Charge a multiplier based on the engine size, so a 3.2l engine pays 3.2 * the price displayed at the pump
      Ringfence additional tax raised for whatever segment of society you feel is unfairly affected

      This won’t happen, and the feebate is happening, so that’s something

      1. Why would you need a multiplier based on engine size. If you use more gas you already pay more tax.

        It makes no sense to charge a large engine car that doesn’t get used much more than a small engine car that gets used all the time.

        1. oh i’m sure you’re right. I’m just really tired of the absolute dominance of overlarge vehicles because someone somewhere has to carry something big sometime

    2. Say we do that:
      Fuel prices going up / fuel taxes in general are basically a regressive tax, at least in auckland. Poor people tend to have to drive longer / further for work.

      So instead of having a feebate that charges the more wealthy and gives to the middle class, you just charge people for being poor. The feebate is a lot more equitable than increasing fuel taxes.

      Also included in the rebate are second hand imports, say a Toyota aqua, you can get them freshly imported now for about 10 grand with a lot less than 100,000ks on the clock. Minus a couple grand, hopefully we’re looking at 8 grand hybrid cars that are pretty new. That’s a long, long way into middle class territory.

      1. I don’t think your claim poor people drive longer/further is absolute fact. Neither should it be an expectation of our transport system.

        Poor people are just as free as anyone else to use PT and are more than free live close to where they work.

        Even if you are to assume poor people like to drive long distances, they have an obvious incentive to reduce their fuel consumption due to its cost. Better that than making their car $2k more expensive to buy.

        1. “Poor people are just as free as anyone else to use PT and are more than free live close to where they work.”

          That’s if they have PT that doesn’t take them 2hrs and 3 transfers, or if they can afford to buy/rent close to the employment areas in Auckland, given prices.

          I’d say they don’t, and they can’t.

        2. The types of jobs poor people do tends to be at more unusual hours when PT is much poorer. Eg a cleaner finishing after midnight, or a shift worker finishing at 4 am when there are effectively zero busses and no trains.
          And if you are poor you have significantly less choice about where you live. Has to be in lower rent neighborhoods etc.

          I also have no idea where you got that their cars would be 2k more expensive. The feebate makes just as many cars cheaper as makes others more expensive, and only applies to fresh imports on cars that are much larger and more expensive as it is, not the same market.

        3. Whilst certain poor people may live a long way from work, so do certain wealthy people.

          Remember places like Karaka were where wealthy folk choose to live long before the high density housing turned up, they happily moved out there where there is no PT and then they drove into the CBD in their large SUVs.

          In regards to the house of work, if you travel off peak you use a fraction of the fuel you use when traveling during peak periods.

          Maybe there is some data somewhere to show a disproportionate number of poor people are required to burn large quantities of fuel getting to and from work, however I don’t know of it.

  20. There will need to be prohibitions of putting charging cables across footpaths and strong enforcement otherwise the footpaths, which are already barely usable for people with disabilities will be all but impassable.
    I certainly don’t expect much given the woeful state of enforcement of people blocking footpaths.

    1. What “footpaths” all I see is extra vehicle storage space.

      Seriously though, I think people on mobility scooters etc should have the social licence to “accidentally” scrape by any vehicles parked like this.

  21. The biggest change that could have a massive impact on vehicles is the conversion of heavy trucks to hydrogen. Does any one know of where that development is and when we are likely to see any of these vehicles on the road?

    1. Hiringa have said they are building a hydrogen refuelling network for trucks starting this year. Haven’t seen any signs of it on the ground yet though.

  22. Something of concern is this statement “Sustainable Biofuels Mandate “. Lets hope there is a proper definition of “sustainable”. It doesnt mean converting land use from food to fuel production, importing biofuel from Brazil, or making it from natural gas.

    1. Sustainable biofuels would include the type of biodiesel that Z make in Wiri.
      It’s made using tallow from the NZ meat industry. This is a waste that otherwise would go into cement production and other Low value products.
      It has a 90% life cycle GHG reduction, so better than an electric vehicle.
      I think we should all be encouraging this sort of thing.

  23. Basically they are taxing tradies and farmers then passing on the money to affluent people who can afford to buy electric cars.

    A great new driver of inequality.

    1. a) Tradies and farmers are on average more affluent than the average New Zealander
      b) Tradies and farmers could buy low emissions vehicles or buy fewer vehicles
      c) The entire point of this tax is to drive behaviour change including change for farmers and tradies.

  24. This is a week late but I would like to add two comments.
    1. The tax/rebate on purchase price is correct. Vehicle depreciation is a larger cost than fuel for many vehicles, especially fleet buys. We need to influence purchase price to influence purchase choice.
    2. Diesel vehicles emissions should be weighted (up). They are more harmful to human health, and diesels’ true emission levels are notoriously understated.

  25. I am currently in the market for a new vehicle to get around Auckland.
    Its a toss up between an electric moped, or a petrol one.


    Its crazy they specifically excluded these vehicles from the clean vehicle program. They are way better for the cities than the cars they give massive discounts to. All that would be needed would be $1000 or similar off to make these make a heap of sense brand new.
    Its also politically more palatable than normal electric bikes because they’re registered motor vehicles, mopeds pay more more rego than cars even. They have to have lights, indicators etc. They cause very little wear and tear to the road, much less than cars, so they’re not free-riding as much as EV’s.

    These vehicles seem like the easiest win politically for the government. Crazy they specifically excluded them. To whos advantage I cant tell.

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