Thursday, August 15, 2019

A good start

If we are to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change, we need to rapidly decarbonise our transport fleet. The good news: its starting to happen:

The number of electric vehicles on New Zealand's roads have nearly tripled in the past two years.

There are currently 15,453 registered electric vehicles (EVs), up from 5,363 in October 2017.

That's an annual increase of 70%. But we have a long, long way to go: EVs only make up 2% of quarterly vehicle registrations, and at current rates it'll be a decade before its even 25%. There are doubts whether that rate will continue, but if the technology matures and cheapens over that time, and an "electric car" just becomes a "car", then it will. But if we want it to remain high, we will need policy. The government's feebate scheme will help, when it kicks in - and it will certainly help reduce the dirtiness of the fossil fuel fleet. The just-announced support for EV trials and charging stations will help too. But in the long run, we need to push people towards EVs, by calling time on fossil fuel vehicles - both new imports and re-registrations. Unfortunately, our government is too chickenshit to do that.