Let’s give the poor electric cars

Plug your poverty in here

Okay, so Wayne Mapp did not actually suggest ‘giving’ them cars, just huge subsidies to help them upgrade their old dungers. Why? To save the planet of course. Well, that makes sense. NOT. Quote.

So how do we help lower income families make the shift? [to electric vehicles] It will require a decent subsidy, maybe $5,000 per year for five years of car ownership or annual lease. Not only will this help emissions, it will mean much safer cars for low income families. Many of the terrible recent accidents have many more deaths and injuries in older, less safe vehicles.

Probably 100,000 of the new annual registrations would attract such a subsidy, targeted at lower income families. The initial annual cost would be $500 million, assuming full take up, rising to $2.5 billion per year in five years. It is a large sum of money, but it is doable. Governments have previously had tax packages or family support packages of this size.

In this case such a policy would be a key policy in bringing down emissions. It would totally eliminate all transport emissions by 2040, so would be a huge step toward a zero emission economy. End quote.


The CO2 emissions from the total transport sector in New Zealand are so infinitesimally small on a global scale of human CO2 emissions (0.037%*) that they are simply not worth $2.5 billion a year to abate.

When we have a health funding crisis, a teacher shortage crisis, a mental health funding crisis, and any number of other calls on the limited taxpayer funds why on earth would we subsidise the poor into electric vehicles for a zero net return on investment?

All this pie-in-the-sky save the planet from man-made global warming nonsense sounds lovely in theory as you discuss it over your soy latte and tofu and mung bean muffins.

The problem is that the real world exists outside the bubble of impracticality. Ghastly issues like supply and disposal of the batteries for all the cars need to be addressed. But they never are.

This interesting graph was in a recent study by the European Battery Alliance. There seems to be just a teensy weensy gap between supply and demand.


Have Ardern, Shaw and Woods secured New Zealand’s future battery supply contracts?

Maybe Ardern could sort that out after solving the ills of social media and before she comes back and gets too busy with wedding planning solving child poverty?


* The 0.037% of total global CO2 emissions coming from the New Zealand transport sector also represents 0.00126% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere because 96.6% of the CO2 in the atmosphere is not from human sources. Since total CO2 only represents 4% of the planet’s total greenhouse gases, this means that the New Zealand transport sector contributions to the total greenhouse gas of the atmosphere is 0.00005%.

Stopping that is definitely worth $2.5 billion per year.