- Date published:
7:36 am, July 22nd, 2019 - 90 comments
Categories: climate change, ETS, global warming, national, paula bennett, same old national, science, Simon Bridges, todd muller, transport, uncategorized - Tags: climate change
So it appears that some within National’s ranks may not want to play politics about climate change and may actually want to support meaningful policy.
National’s climate spokesperson is supportive of the Government’s electric vehicle (EV) feebate policy, despite opposition from the party’s leadership.
A feebate scheme has been proposed which would see up to $3000 added to the sale of our highest-polluting vehicles in order to subside cleaner vehicles by up to $8000 from 2021.
In an interview with Newshub Nation, Todd Muller was asked if he’d keep the policy if National won power at the next election.
“I’m broadly supportive,” he said.
“Transport is an area that has 20 percent of our emissions but more critically we have at our fingertips a technology, in this case electric vehicles and maybe in time hydrogen vehicles, that you can roll across the New Zealand sector to improve emissions.
“If you do have technology available to assist with those emissions reductions then I think it is a fair question to ask about how best can we speed up that adoption.
“A feebate is just one part of the equation. I’m interested that they haven’t looked at the tail of our very old and increasingly unsafe cars, at what can be done to reduce them from the New Zealand fleet that is appropriately fair and equitable for those people who often drive those, who’re often at the lower end of our socio-economic profile.”
I wondered if Muller ran this past party hierachy? Because his comments are in stark contrast to what some of the others were saying.
Again from Stuff:
Deputy Leader Paula Bennett derided the policy as “yet another tax on hard-working New Zealanders” on The AM Show. Leader Simon Bridges, who owns an EV and as Transport Minister rolled out an EV incentive policy in 2016, also blasted the policy on Twitter.
National has decided to change tack and to now claim that there are not enough electric vehicles and this is all the Government’s fault.
From a National Party press release:
The paltry 135 electric vehicles that have been added to the Government fleet since the Labour coalition took office shows it is failing to lead by example, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“Information released to National shows only 135 electric vehicles have been registered for the first time to any government agency since the present Government took office. In real terms, the Government itself has done nothing on electric vehicles since the election, except propose more taxes.
“There’s about 15,500 vehicles in the Government’s fleet. Prior to the last election, National committed to a hard target of making one third of them electric or hybrid vehicles by 2021, alongside our much bolder ambition of having 64,000 EVs in the country by then.
“National believes electric vehicles are the future. Since our Electric Vehicles Programme launched in May 2016 the number of EVs on our roads has increased from 1406 to 14,867.
I thought I would have a look for the policy and found this page and this graph:
The curve is pointing up and the trend is accelerating and the number of EVs now on the road has doubled since this Government was elected.
What can be said about National’s previous policy? Well unless the rate of introduction increases by a factor of up to 8 over the next 18 months National’s goal will not be met. Remember they promised a fleet of 64,000 by 2021. But they had little supporting policy apart from an absurd idea to let electric cars use bus lanes and priority lanes, later amended to priority lanes only because the disruption to the bus lanes was going to be too much.
This policy, which Bridges described as the “single most-effective non-financial incentive” to get people into EVs flopped and has been discontinued.
Time will tell but I believe that the trend of new EVs will continue and the new policy will provide a significant incentive. National clearly will be hoping and praying that it fails.