17 Jan 2018

More electric vehicle charging stations to hit the streets

4:31 pm on 17 January 2018

There will be more electric cars, buses and charging stations across New Zealand after another round of projects received Government funding.

Megan Woods charging a hybrid electric car.

Megan Woods charging a hybrid electric car. Photo: RNZ / Mei Heron

$3.74 million has been given for 20 projects as part of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

A third of the money has gone to fill gaps in the country's electric charging infrastructure, especially in the regions.

Tourism opportunities such as electric campervans have also been funded and Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said this would boost New Zealand's reputation as a clean green paradise.

"I think one of the things people will be attracted to is to do a trip in a sustainable way... I think it's got huge potential for New Zealand and it's the way we want to sell ourselves to the rest of the world," she said.

A Motor Industry Training Organisation project has also received money to develop a qualifications framework for mechanics working on electric vehicles.

The organisation did not meet the criteria last funding round so did not apply, but Ms Woods said it was vital projects like this were funded.

Megan Woods in a hybrid electric car.

Megan Woods in a hybrid electric car. Photo: RNZ / Mei Heron

"Critical to having a just transition to a low carbon economy is making sure we're getting ahead of the workforce traning," she said.

Ms Woods said the criteria could need to be expanded further, and more money invested in the future.

"This fund becomes even more important with our Government's very ambitious target to reach net zero emissions by 2050."

A pilot project has also been funded in Hamilton to use a fully electric truck to shuttle Fonterra's dairy goods to the railway.

"Projects like this are vital to show others in the heavy logistics and transport industry that electric trucks are not only viable but have very low running costs," Ms Woods said.

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