Climate Change Minister James Shaw says if we don’t ban importing petrol cars soon, we risk becoming a dumping ground for millions of “dirty second-hands” more forward-thinking countries don’t want.
Electrifying the country’s 4.5 million road vehicles is “a critical element” of reaching New Zealand’s net-zero emissions goal by 2050, according to the Climate Change Commission’s Ināia tonu nei: A low emissions future for Aotearoa report, released on Wednesday.
Fully-electric vehicles (EVs) presently cost about $16,000 more than those powered by fuel, but the report says by 2031 they should reach “price parity” – with EVs having the obvious advantage of lower running costs. As early as 2022, a brand-new electric vehicle will, over its 20-year lifetime, save its owners money compared to a brand new petrol-driven car, the report predicts.
It recommends in 2032 imports of new petrol-driven vehicles should be banned, and in 2035, used cars should join them.
“Rod Carr, the head of the Climate Change Commission, did say yesterday that at the latest we should say that you can’t be bringing in more fossil-fuelled cars after 2035, but ideally by 2030,” Shaw told The AM Show on Thursday.
“He said to the Government, ‘You make up your mind about where it is on that spectrum, but ultimately that’s the point you’re going to have to get to’.”