Insurers will soon have a host of new vehicles to insure – as electric cars for commercial use come to New Zealand in much larger numbers.
Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced $3.87 million of new funding for 19 projects under the fourth round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
“Part of the focus on this round is to demonstrate light and heavy electric vehicles in sectors of the economy where the technology is relatively unproven,” Woods said. “Projects to get the go-ahead include a lines maintenance electric truck with an elevating platform; New Zealand’s first all-electric water truck; five supermarket distribution electric trucks; and electric vans with purposes including parks maintenance, rural postal delivery and food rescue.
“This is about demonstrating the rapidly evolving technology that is making electric vehicles a practical option for a growing number of businesses,” she added.
The minister said the funding will also continue to build New Zealand’s EV public charging network. An additional twenty-two public fast chargers will be installed to build drivers’ confidence in the accessibility of SH1 between Christchurch and Blenheim; the Southern Scenic tourist route; and the Kapiti and Horowhenua coasts. Three new fast chargers at central North Island locations will accept standard payment cards.
“This new funding demonstrates the government’s commitment to increasing the number of low emissions vehicles as part of our programme to move towards a net zero carbon economy by 2050,” Woods said.
“This is an ambitious goal and with funding for projects like these we are putting our money where our mouth is.”
The minister noted that round five of funding will open on August 15. She challenged applicants to explore the potential of vehicle-to-grid and smart charging technologies.