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New Zealand to fund new EV projects

The New Zealand government plans to fund more electric vehicle (EV) projects.

With the investment, 110 new electric vehicle chargers and 50 electric ride-sharing vehicles will be installed around the country.

According to media reports, in the latest round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, 21 projects have been approved. he government will provide US$ 3.8 million towards the projects and successful applicants will contribute a combined US$ 12 million.

The purpose of the contestable fund is to encourage innovation and investment that will accelerate the adoption of low emission vehicles in the country.

The Minister of Energy and Resources was excited with the regional spread of the projects; by partnering with private companies and various commercial players, the government making sure that a robust EV charging infrastructure is developed all over the country- not just in cities, she noted.

Progress is being made in places like Southland and Northland. She said that for a number of companies having the grant through the fund has been a deciding factor.

In total, the fund has committed US$ 23.8 million in government funding to 139 projects.

Although the effects of the funding won’t be seen immediately, the Minister said the latest round of funding was making sure the infrastructure was in place for low emission vehicles.

Currently, about 15,000 electric vehicles are on New Zealand roads and there is potential for many more.

The government said it has committed co-funding for over 1,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country, of which over 600 are operational.

Projects to receive funding:

  • The setting up of public fast chargers at urban and provincial supermarkets
  • The installation of fast chargers at regional Warehouse stores for public use
  • Cityhop to purchase 50 electric vehicles for nationwide car sharing
  • Mahu City Express to add an electric coach to its luxury coach and shuttle service operating between the Mahurangi region and Auckland
  • Eastland Port to purchase an electric truck for watering and dust suppression at Eastland Port, which will be the first electric water truck in NZ
  • The Wellington City Council to install chargers at Waitohi community hub being developed in Johnsonville
  • Northpower will pilot vehicle-to-grid technology at a residential address

New Zealand’s 1360-strong bus fleet is one step closer to becoming fully electrified after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Auckland Transport (AT) and Vector, as OpenGov reported last month.

Under the initiative, a feasibility study will be carried out to assess the impact of a fully electric bus fleet on the Auckland electricity network.

It will also identify opportunities where innovative energy technologies could be used to assist the transition and help avoid large network upgrade costs.

AT currently operates three electric buses and is supporting the electrification of the bus fleet on Waiheke Island. Six electric buses are due to arrive this year, and more new services being negotiated to start from 2021.

AT’s Bus Services Manager explained that a faster transition to electric buses requires a detailed assessment of the future demand on the electricity network.

The study will also help to understand what investment is needed in the electricity network to support the full transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet.

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