Energy Innovation Bill introduced

  • Simon Bridges
Energy and Resources Transport

Energy and Resources and Transport Minister Simon Bridges has introduced the Energy Innovation (Electric Vehicles and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to Parliament today.

The Bill implements parts of the Government’s Electric Vehicles Programme, makes changes to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) levy funding, and clarifies how electricity industry legislation applies to secondary networks.

“New Zealand’s environmental and energy objectives are changing and we need to accommodate emerging technologies and new business models by ensuring our laws are fit-for-purpose. This Bill will support our focus on reducing emissions and improving energy productivity, while encouraging innovation,” Mr Bridges says.

“Our Electric Vehicles Programme reflects a shift in focus to transport energy, but we also need a renewed focus on improving our energy productivity.

“EECA have a key role in both, and changes in the Bill give it the flexibility to undertake a wider range of initiatives by expanding its levy funding beyond electricity efficiency activities.” 

The Bill also creates a new road user charge exemption for heavy electric vehicles until they make up two per cent of the fleet and amends the law so that Road Controlling Authorities can allow electric vehicles in special vehicle lanes.

“We have seen that allowing EVs in special vehicle lanes is the single most effective non-financial incentive we can put in place to increase uptake. This is evident in places like Norway and California.

“It will ultimately be a decision for Road Controlling Authorities like the Transport Agency and Regional Councils. In some cases it won’t make sense but we certainly encourage councils to give it some thought and see if it will work for their regions.”

It is intended for changes in the Bill to come into effect on 1 July 2017.