Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Moving in the right direction

If we are to avoid making our planet uninhabitable, we need to decarbonise our transport sector. One of the most effective things individuals can do on this front is make their next car electric. And it seems like most New Zealanders have got that message:

Figures from a Trade Me survey show 74 per cent of Kiwis are considering an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car.

Trade Me head of motors Alan Clark said more than 1300 New Zealanders took part in the survey which looked at Kiwis' perceptions of EVs.

"We were stunned to find out that nearly three-in-four New Zealanders would consider an EV for their next vehicle." Clark said.

In 2018 it asked Kiwi motorists the same question and only half of respondents said they'd look at an EV for their next vehicle.

"With climate change top of mind for many people, a range of new models on the market, rising fuel costs and the government's new plan to subsidise EVs, we think more Kiwis will make the switch in the near future."

This is good news. While numbers are low at present, it suggests we're heading for a tipping point in consumer behaviour which should lead to substantial decarbonisation. It'll take a while, but we're definitely heading in the right direction.

But again, I'm forced to ask: why didn't the government push this even further, by announcing a date after which there would be a fossil fuel car import ban? Other countries are doing this, and it is an effective measure to drive fleet upgrade.