Government gives businesses $11 million

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says putting infrastructure in place first will encourage people to buy electric vehicles.

Our dear friend and all round lovely Minister of Energy and Resources is still solving global climate change one taxpayer dollar at a time. In her latest efforts to stave off an imagined crisis of unquantifiable proportions the minister is splashing the cash to businesses up and down the country to convince us that we all want to sit for an hour or two half way across the Napier-Taupo road while our batteries charge. Quote.

Electricity company Meridian, Foodstuffs supermarkets, and tourism companies were among the recipients of money from the Government’s latest and biggest round of low emission vehicle funding.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods announced the $11 million boost today in Christchurch where hire vehicle tourist company Tourism Holdings demonstrated one of its electric camper vans.

The money will be used to set up new charging stations to complete the South Island tourist circuit on the West Coast, hydrogen fuel cell powered buses at the Ports of Auckland, and battery testing for used car buyers. […] end quote.

Grants announced (summarized from the article):

  • Bupa received $136,675 to replace three diesel laundry service vehicles
  • Ryman Healthcare got $117,500 for charging stations for electric vehicles at its Auckland villages
  • $250,000 given to Ports of Auckland for one bus and three cars in its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle project
  • $26,000 to VTNZ will help develop a reliable battery condition test. (Spoiler – they already exist.)
  • $167,254 to Real Journeys will see procurement of two Hyundai Konas, and installation of charging stations in Te Anau, Queenstown and Manapouri
  • Ng?i Tahu Tourism’s $139,000 will allow for seven public fast-charging stations at Franz Josef Hot Pools, Dart River Adventures Glenorchy, Earth and Sky Takap?, Shotover Jet Queenstown and Hukafalls Jet Taup?. (Would this be the ‘charity’ that pays no tax?)
  • A $71,075 grant will provide a fast charging station at Otira in Arthur’s Pass, and three more will be added in Rotorua.
  • Alsco NZ and TR Group received funding for heavy vehicle trials
  • $500,000 to Foodstuffs South Island will help with the cost of importing 28 electric vans from the UK.
  • Other funding for Foodstuffs will increased [sic] the number of chargers at Pak’n Save and New World supermarkets.
  • PPCS, $178,550, for its electric rubbish truck to service in Wellington
  • ContainerCo, $99,700, for electric heavy vehicles at its depots in Auckland and Tauranga to move shipping containers.
  • DHL Express, $62,685, will carry out an electric van courier trial
  • Wynyard Quarter’s $40,000 will be used to lease an electric delivery van and install a refrigeration unit, for Auckland central city fresh fish deliveries. quote.

However, a business owner, Karl McGregor of Cashmere Dentists, said he would like to see the money spread around smaller enterprises, including cafes, where people could charge their vehicles during appointments. He had investigated the cost of a charging station at $50,000, which was too much for small businesses.

Woods said the contestable fund was also open to smaller businesses.

EECA’s Richard Briggs, who manages the scheme, said contestable funding meant that a panel would rank applicants to ensure recipients gave the widest public benefit. This was why supermarkets had been chosen so that large numbers of people would have access to charging stations while they shopped, he said.

On the tourism front, the new funding will provide for a further 34 public charging spaces for electric vehicles around New Zealand, including tourism hot-spots. […]

“Transport is responsible for about 18 per cent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, so one of the most effective ways for us to help tackle climate change is to transition our fossil- fuelled transport fleet to run on clean, renewable energy sources,” Woods said. […]

However, Drive Electric lobby group chairman Mark Gilbert questioned how the Government would achieve a target of 64,000 electric vehicles by 2021 when there were only 12,000 currently.

Woods said higher numbers would be achieved by ensuring infrastructure was in place first, and by the Government leading the way when it procured new vehicles which would later be bought on the used car market.

ENd quote.
  Stuff end quote.

Oh goodie! When the battery is old and stuffed, the government will sell their used electric cars to the public. How sweet of them to think of us!