Government funds innovative EV projects

New Zealanders will soon see more of electric vehicles’ versatility, with co-funding for 19 diverse projects announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods today.

Woods announced the successful projects today at Porirua Motors, one of 19 automotive workshops around the country now offering customers use of an electric courtesy car, thanks to a co-funded project given the green light last year.

“Today I am announcing $3.87 million of new funding to support 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.

“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.

“The round also continues to build New Zealand’s EV public charging network. Twenty-two more 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 that 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. This is an ambitious goal and with funding for projects like these we are putting our money where our mouth is.

“Through this fund, a total of $13.97 million in government funding is being matched by over $23 million third party funding. 24 projects from previous rounds have put results on the road so far.

“The fund is one of several initiatives in the Government’s Electric Vehicles Programme, which aims to double the number of EVs every year to reach 64,000 by the end of 2021,” says Megan Woods.

Woods also announced round five will open on Wednesday 15 August. She challenged applicants to explore the potential of vehicle-to-grid and smart charging technologies. The full investment focus is on the EECA website (www.eeca.govt.nz).

For more information about the fund, visit www.eeca.govt.nz/funding-and-support/low-emission-vehicles-contestable-fund/