Friday, April 05, 2024

Climate Change: Spite destroys success

The clean car discount was a real policy success in pushing electrification of transport. It worked so well that EV adoption was running five years ahead of the Climate Commission's targets, giving us a real shot at decarbonising light transport. National killed it out of pure spite. And as expected, EV sales have now collapsed:

Last month’s sales of electric vehicles plummeted to a three year low for the month of March, new data from the NZ Transport Agency shows.

In the wake of the Government’s scrapping of the Clean Car Discount policy, which subsidised low-emissions vehicles, sales have fallen. While EV sales did rise in March as compared to January and February, they remained well below previous levels.

Just 4.5 percent of new vehicles registered last month were fully electric, with another 1.8 percent being plug-in hybrids. That’s less than a third of the market share clean vehicles had in March 2023. On average across the past year, one in five new vehicles sold was electric.

When the numbers for January were released, showing the worst sales month for EVs since 2020, the chair of the advocacy group Drive Electric warned it was “exceptionally unlikely” that figures would return to 2023 levels by the end of the year.

So that's that fucked then. And "an expansion of the charging network" is not going to fix it. But National still has international and domestic emissions-reduction targets, and failing to meet them is going to cost us billions, plus billions more from floods, drought, and sea-level rise. You've got to be a special kind of arsehole to destroy a highly effective policy out of spite. And you've got to be a particularly stupid one to do it at that cost. But apparently that's National's new standard of governance: stupid, spiteful arseholery.