Association welcomes electric vehicle package

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THE AA has welcomed last week’s announcement of a package to promote the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).
The package, unveiled by Prime Minister John Key and transport minister Simon Bridges, includes $1 million for an awareness campaign about the merits of switching to electric, extending exemptions on road user charges to heavier EVs, and investigating the bulk purchase of EVs.
Mr Bridges said it was hoped to increase the number of EVs on the road to 64,000 by 2021.
EVs produce no greenhouse gas emissions, and the package is also a vital part of the Government’s bid to meet its climate change obligations.
With its high level of renewable electricity, New Zealand was ideally suited to adopt EVs, AA spokesman Mark Stockdale said.
‘‘Other countries have led the way in introducing policies to speed the uptake of EVs, and interest is mounting here, so it’s good to see the Government taking action to stimulate their growth.’’
AA surveys showed 87% of members tried to be environmentally responsible, while 37% were very concerned about fuel prices, he said.
But there were few EVs for sale in New Zealand and most members knew little about them.
‘‘Twenty-five percent don’t even know that an EV costs less to fuel than a conventional car. The publicity campaign will help people understand the benefits EVs have,’’ Mr Stockdale said.

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