Addressing the mounting challenges of elevating carbon levels, the New Zealand Government is unveiling subsidies to make electric vehicles relatively cheaper and economical and new diesel and petrol cars expensive.
Apparently, the changes follow the country’s Climate Commission recommendations which emphasize on comprehensive transformations required to get the country closer to its emission targets.
Reports suggest that the subsidies for some hybrid and electric vehicles would be up to NZ$8,625 for new vehicles, while for used cars, it would be NZ$3,450. They are expected to come to action in the next month.
The subsidies are anticipated to be funded by introducing new charges on imports of SUVs and high-emission utility vehicles.
For the record, the Climate Commission had earlier this week, laid out new benchmarks for the nation to transform the makeup of its fleet. The plan included banning imports of diesel and petrol cars by 2032, and that road transport be almost decarbonized by 2050.
Speaking on the novel initiative, New Zealand’s transport minister, Michael Wood cited that the country’s transport emissions are the fastest growing source of GHG emissions. This enhances the need for acting as early as possible, if the nation seeks to meet its 2050 targets.
Michael added that New Zealand is currently lagging behind on the adoption of EVs, and therefore, it is playing catch up internationally. Furthermore, the policy would curb an estimated 9.2m tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Meanwhile, James Shaw, Climate change Minister, mentioned that, currently low emission vehicles are financially out of the reach of many citizens of New Zealand. With technology gradually developing and manufacturers deciding to put a limit on production of diesel and petrol cars, the cost of low emission vehicles is expected to come down.
While some have been showing constant support for the policy, it has also sparked some criticism nationwide. It has been claimed that the policy would ‘unfairly’ hurt farmers, low income earners, and tradespeople for whom, low emission vehicles would still be unsuitable or too expensive for their lifestyle.