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The government invests $3.7 million in EV technology

More electric vehicles will be hitting New Zealand’s highways, bus lanes and streets with funding announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods.

Woods announced $3.74 million for 20 projects under the third round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The projects will see Government funding matched or bettered by businesses.

Woods says, “These exciting projects include a 58 tonne fully electric truck to be used by Coda in Hamilton to shuttle Fonterra’s dairy goods to the railway.

“Projects like this are vital to show others in the heavy logistics and transport industry that electric trucks are not only viable but have very low running costs.”

Woods said $1.7m of the funding would help fill gaps in the country’s charging infrastructure. Funding was also going towards tourism opportunities such as electric campervans.

She continues, “The projects we are funding show there’s an EV for almost every job or use in New Zealand, be it delivering fruit and veg or taking a holiday.”

Also announced was a Motor Industry Training Organisation project to develop a qualifications framework for mechanics working on electric vehicles.

The fund is one of a range of initiatives in the Government’s Electric Vehicles Programme, which has a target of doubling the numbers of electric vehicles every year to reach 64,000 by the end of 2021.

The fund offers up to 50% funding towards projects.

Applicants must match or exceed the amounts granted.

For this round, recipients are contributing $4.30m. Projects are approved conditionally until contracts are prepared and signed.

Some of the approved projects are:

EV courtesy cars for automotive workshops

EV Consulting and Project Management Services company, EVincible, will coordinate the rollout of a battery electric courtesy car and associated charging station for 25 automotive workshops.

This will give customers an opportunity to test drive an EV while their car is being repaired or serviced.

The project will also enable automotive workshops to increase familiarity and develop EV servicing skills through training modules developed by co-applicant AECS Limited for upskilling automotive workshop technicians.

Electric freight shuttle

Freight optimisation company CODA, in partnership with Zero Emission Vehicles and Bay Dairy, will design and manufacture an electric truck to shuttle dairy products from the Fonterra Te Rapa dairy factory to the Fonterra Crawford Street freight hub in Hamilton.

With a laden weight of 58 tonnes, the shuttle will operate 7 days a week during peak season. Using this electric truck will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 71 tonnes per year.

It has significant demonstration potential for the heavy logistics and transport industry.

Kerikeri EV Network for Seniors

The retirement village will buy four EVs to establish a car share operation for use by residents and staff and install a DC fast charging unit in Kerikeri which the public could also use.

Shared EVs make sense for retirement village residents who typically travel short distances and who will no longer need to own and maintain an often underused petrol car.

The project has demonstrated the potential for a fast-growing sector.

These are just three of the over 20 examples of EV projects currently being undertaken in NZ.

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