Data released by the Ministry of Transport today shows that growth in the number of larger, emission-intensive vehicles is undermining the gains from zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs).
“Despite record number of electric vehicles being sold, the average amount of emissions produced by fossil fuelled vehicles entering our fleet is staying the same,” said Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw.
“While we’re seeing growth in EVs at one end we’re also seeing an increasing number of larger, more polluting vehicles entering the fleet at the other.
“For example, the number of EVs in the fleet grew by 3,656 in 2017 but the number of large vehicles, with engines greater than 3,000 cc, grew by five times that amount.
“It’s disappointing. Our vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, but we’re being sold cars with bigger engines that require more fuel to run, so we’re not reaping the environmental benefits we might expect.
“Part of the problem is New Zealand lacks the strong incentives – which most other developed countries have – to sell more fuel efficient and climate-friendly cars.
“The Productivity Commission has also pointed out that New Zealand risks being left as dumping ground for larger, polluting vehicles as other countries move ahead of us and start phasing them out.
“This is why this Government is investigating a range of options to make electric vehicles easier for Kiwis to buy, including fuel-efficiency standards for imported cars,” said James Shaw.
Links to the Ministry of Transport’s updated Annual Vehicle Fleet statistics: