Electric Vehicle Policy: New Zealand in a Comparative Context

1 March 2016

Professor Barry Barton from Waikato University has teamed up with Dr Peter Schütte from Bremen University to write this new research report. The report analyses the laws and policy measures that can be put in place to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in the light vehicle fleet.

"In New Zealand there is a lot of interest in EVs, and they make sense from a climate change and air pollution point of view because most of our electricity is generated from renewable sources," Barry says. "But EVs are expensive, and there is concern about their range and the availability of charging facilities."

The study, Electric Vehicle Policy:New Zealand in a Comparative Context, compares the New Zealand situation with that of several other countries. One of its key insights is that the attractiveness of EVs depends on how well we manage the negative effects of conventional vehicles. The research showed that New Zealand is one of only a handful of developed nations that does not impose fuel efficiency standards on its vehicle fleet. This makes EVs less attractive.

The authors’ main policy recommendation is for a ‘feebate’ on bringing cars into New Zealand, under which vehicles with poor fuel efficiency would pay a fee and high-efficiency vehicles, including EVs, would get a rebate. A feebate system has been very effective in France.

The study makes a timely contribution to the Government’s evaluation of policy alternatives to promote EVs, as one of a number of things that New Zealand must do to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the full research report here.

This research is part of the multi-disciplinary study Energy Cultures,which is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Barry will draw on his research report during the Hamilton stop of the 'Leading the Charge' Electric Vehicle Road trip which will be held at the Academy on Monday 11 April, featuring EV industry heavyweight Chelsea Sexton.