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Government helps seed 20 EV-related projects with $3.7 mln

Wednesday 17th January 2018

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Government and its commercial and not-for-profit partners are stumping up $8 million across 20 projects aimed at getting 64,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2021. 

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods unveiled the projects today and said the government will contribute $3.7 million towards the initiatives, with the balance coming from its partners, who have to match or beat the grants. The money comes from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, which was introduced by the previous administration in 2016 as a wider plan to lift the uptake of electric vehicles. As of December, there were 6,162 EVs on local roads. 

“The projects we are funding show there’s an EV for almost every job or use in New Zealand, be it delivering fruit and veg or taking a holiday," Woods said in a statement. 

The current funding is the third round for the fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and $1.7 million will be used to fill gaps in the country's charging infrastructure, Woods said. 

The New Zealand Transport Agency this month issued a pre-tender notice to gather market intelligence for nationwide EV charging infrastructure as it seeks to add more of the vehicles to its own fleet. 

Other projects announced today include $500,000 for freight logistics company Coda, Zero Emission Vehicles and Bay Dairy to design and manufacture an electric truck to shuttle dairy products from the Fonterra Te Rapa dairy factory to the Fonterra Crawford Street freight hub in Hamilton. Coda is a joint venture between Port of Tauranga and Kotahi, a logistics company owned by Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms.

Woods said the electric truck will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 71 tonnes per year and has significant demonstration potential for the heavy logistics and transport industry. 

“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," she said. 

Tourism Holdings will receive $402,000 to convert an electric van into a campervan, invest in charging equipment working with holiday parks, and develop dedicated travel itineraries with charging stations at 100km intervals. Beyond this project, they aim to have 20 electric campervans on the road within one year. 

Among others, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare will receive $72,500 of the funding to install 74 EV slow chargers and two medium speed DC chargers to encourage staff to purchase EVs.

The Motor Industry Training Organisation will receive $95,000 to develop a qualifications framework for technicians working on electric vehicles. Currently, there is no NZQA-registered qualification or national standard for this work. 

(BusinessDesk)

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