12 Aug 2017

Govt pledges third of govt-owned vehicles to be electric by 2021

5:15 pm on 12 August 2017

The Prime Minister has announced a third of government-owned vehicles will be electric by 2021.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace (behind the microphone) and Bill English (far left) at National's electric vehicle announcement in Lower Hutt.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace (behind the microphone) and Bill English (far left) at National's electric vehicle announcement in Lower Hutt. Photo: RNZ / Emile Donovan

Bill English made the announcement earlier this afternoon at a press conference in Lower Hutt.

The government currently owns just over 15,000 vehicles used by a range of organisations including district health boards, Housing New Zealand, Corrections and the Department of Conservation.

The announcement follows a target announced last year of having 64,000 electric vehicle registrations by 2021.

Bill English said electric cars made economic sense, and their environmental benefits were unquestionable.

He said they were part of the country's brand of high environmental standards, sustainability and clean-green.

"Electric vehicles are part of New Zealand's future and they're going to be part of our ongoing international brand of high environmental standards, sustainability and clean green, the brand that gets tourists here and that helps sell our exports, but most importantly at the core of what New Zealanders believe New Zealand is about."

Mr English said gradually converting the government's fleet to electric vehicles showed it was setting an example.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said about 85 percent of New Zealand's energy was renewable, meaning a move to electric cars had positive knock-on effects.

"What that means is that if you're filling up here, you're filling up with home-grown, clean, green energy - and that's a fantastic thing that means it's much cheaper to run your vehicle ... and also it's much better for the environment."

New Zealand currently has 3700 electric vehicles on the road.

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