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Simon Bridges Going Blue in the Face Barking at Green Cars

Written By: - Date published: 3:48 pm, July 14th, 2019 - 51 comments
Categories: climate change, cost of living, Environment, facebook, julie anne genter, making shit up, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, transport, uncategorized - Tags: , , , , , , ,

Simon Bridges is back from the wilderness in the news with the usual rhetorical innuendo and histrionics. Oh, how much I have missed him in the last couple of weeks.

He posted a cunning photo on Facebook captioned Labour’s Car Tax – new vehicles. I thought this was a Government proposal led by Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter who is from the Green Party!? Oh, there she is, in a video on Simon’s Facebook page 😉

Of course, the photo shows the absolute maximum fees on brand new vehicles; the highest fees on imported vehicles would be $1,500. Of course, no mention of the discounts of up to $8,000 nor the fact that the proposed fees and discounts only apply to cars that enter NZ for the first time and not to second-hand cars that are already in the country.

Setting aside the big numbers, the true cost here is the extra few grand a Mum and Dad with three kids will pay for a used seven-seater van, just so a banker can buy a cheaper Tesla.

You’ll have to read the whole press release to enjoy the full rhetorical artistry of it.

I do not know of many families with three kids who buy a brand new seven-seater van from the dealer nor do I know any banker with a Tesla. However, cars costing more than $80,000 are not eligible for discounts and given that the most basic version of the Tesla Model 3 will retail for $74,960 and be available from August, one can imagine that by 2021 it will be over $80,000. So, no discount for the poor banker – apparently, they are chauffeured around anyway if they work for ANZ.

National supports greening the vehicle fleet through incentives, not penalties. Our policies saw the number of EVs on our roads jump from 1406 in May 2016 to 14,867 in June 2019.

Nicely worded, but who will pay for those “incentives” if it is meant to be “revenue-neutral”? That is still only a tiny fraction of all vehicles.

All the rhetoric aside, National has even provided a helpful spreadsheet with calculations. Now, I am certainly no expert but a few things jump out immediately. Under National’s only scenario for change, they assume a 100% increase in demand at the lowest CO2 band and a fixed 10% decrease across all other bands. Surely, one would expect a more progressive change in demand in favour of the lower CO2 bands and thus lower fees.

The other assumption they make is that the total number of imported vehicles over the projected period 2021-2025 inclusive is the same as over the 2018/19 period. However, the size of the so-called “light fleet” has grown at a rapid rate over the last few years, partly driven by high net migration.

Lastly, National’s analysis shows its narrow-minded and parochial tunnel vision by treating NZ in isolation. It fails to account for the fact that other countries, including Japan, are leading the way in cleaning their fleets. Thus, over time, the imported cars into NZ will be cleaner and fall progressively more into the lower CO2 bands.

However, I expect not much change from Simon Bridges and National and they will continue to bark at every passing car, especially the green ones.

51 comments on “Simon Bridges Going Blue in the Face Barking at Green Cars”

  1. Chris T 1

    " Thus, over time, the imported cars into NZ will be cleaner and fall progressively more into the lower CO2 bands."

    I think with Japan cleaning up their fleet over time cars being imported will be more and more 5-6 year old EVs which have batteries that only have an 8 year warranty.

    So it will end up being NZ turning into "The place we have to stitch up with battery disposal, so we don't have to" 

  2. Ad 2

    Plenty of policy space left by this government for National to outflank them if they wanted to. 

    If I were National I would target fleets: 

    – Government limousines

    – All government Departments with large fleets e.g. Health, Education, Police, NZTA

    – Then all Crown agencies such as universities, Kiwirail

    – Then the major corporates with major reliance on the state: 

      all the electricity companies with Crown 51% holdings

      all the polytechs

     all the unions

     all the health and justice and education trusts who contract to the state agencies

      all the local governments across New Zealand, and their transport agencies

     

    – After that you would go for the taxi fleets, rental vehicle fleets, and courier fleets

    That would keep the industry busy for a while. 

    But MoT probably didn't have the nerve to put up something bold. They'd start weeping attempting a cross-agency procurement policy.

    • michelle 2.1

      I think  they( national and co)  will need more than that to get back in power as they had 9 yrs to deliver 'a brighter future' instead they delivered more homelessness, more relative poverty, more inequalities, immigration of around a million people, where are the houses, schools, hospitals, roads and money to pay for all these things  to deal with more population growth. 

      • jcuknz 2.1.1

        Sadly I agree with you but would ask how different is the current mob running the country,  So pre-ocupied with doing it themselves they have failed to enlist the support of business who in a small way, despite everything, have and are showing the way.
        Way back i suggested a Nat/Lab meld was the way to progress the country with the sensible folk from each side working together for the good of he country. Still my view.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    They won't have heated seats Ad Cheers

    • Ad 3.1

      Boooo!

      My Peugeot 508 does! Great in winter.

      • David Mac 3.1.1

        I trust you have a "Rainbow Warrior – We will never forget" sticker on your car.

        If you haven't, can I post you one please?

        I'm kidding, when it comes to guilty by association, I'm a plague carrier.

        It's been done to death but it's such a great story. "I don't swear, smoke or drink."

    • mpledger 3.2

      Leafs have heated seats and steering wheels.

      • David Mac 3.2.1

        Apparently the Nissan/Renault marketing department have decided that your 'Leafs' is correct mpledger. I think that it would of been way cooler to run with the plural "Leaves". 

  4. Still doesn't mention the elephant in the room… the self destructive policy of endless economic growth pursued by all parties… exacerbated by unsustainable levels of immigration… these are taboo

    • David Mac 4.1

      On a personal level, I'm always on the lookout for where I might turn a dollar and my family immigrated here about 150 years ago, we're serial immigration perps. Damned generations of us.

      I'm not feeling the guilt Rob

      • David Mac 4.1.1

        Immigrants take nothing from us that we can't reach out and get ourselves. Nobody thrives on the couch.

        • roblogic 4.1.1.1

          I am not blaming immigrants, I am criticising govt policy that fills NZ with cars and pollution at an alarming rate

          • David Mac 4.1.1.1.1

            I think you're right Rob. There is little downside to us looking more closely at the 2nd hand Japanese imports we've been hoovering up for decades.

            These imports have many taxes included in their sticker price.

            The quick way to get NZ's fleet Green and get elected next time is not to legislate but to simply make it very attractive for the marketplace to import emission friendly rides.

            • David Mac 4.1.1.1.1.1

              When it is profitable to import and retail emission tolerable vehicles, our taxes won't need to fund the 'Go Electric Mr Dinosaur' ads, the importers will. 

              • David Mac

                Why are electric cars painted? Shouldn't they be wearing sunlight capture cells all over? 

                Strong marketing potential. "1 day in Longreach Qld and this car's tank went from E to F."

  5. David Mac 5

    On the sports field or in politics to win requires targeting an opponents weak points. Kiwis love making greener cars sexy. It's a stupid target Simon, don't slag them, tell us how you'd do more.

    Hitting on Green cars while there are 100 people lined up in the rain before dawn at a South Auckland WINZ office…get with the program Nats. We love greening up the fleet, standing in a pre-dawn queue at Manurewa to put cornflakes on the table is an open wound.

    Oh for an opposition of substance.

  6. Wayne 6

    It is almost certain the Tesla 3 will be under $80,000 in 2021. Tesla will absolutely make sure it is, so that it qualifies for the $8,000 subsidy.

    The press release did make me think about winners and losers (in voter cohorts) of the policy.

    Losers

    Rural new Zealand, basically all losers. They will have to pay more. Low income suburbs, basically losers, since many also have large families. So small fuel efficient vehicles and EV's don't work for them. Tradies, all losers, four door utes get the full $,3000 surcharge

    Winners

    High income, inner city suburbs, all winners. EV's and Plugin Hybrids are prefect for them. Older New Zealanders, mostly winners, EV's will suit many. High income suburbs generally, probably winners, EV's are an ideal second car choice.

    Middling

    Most New Zealanders. Many will buy hybrids and some can buy EV's. But many can't, since at the moment hybrids are too small or too expensive. But that will rapidly change as hybrids cover a much bigger range of vehicles.

    Many if not most Green voters come from winners, so the policy is good for them. Labour, more mixed. Those who live in inner city suburbs are winners, those in poorer suburbs are losers. National is also mixed, the rural voters are all losers, but those in affluent suburbs will be winners. NZF, mostly losers, though some older voters will be winners.

    Tradies (all of whom are losers) used to split between Labour and National. Probably now more National and NZF. I imagine Winston will find a way to protect them. Probably by having no pollution charge if the vehicle is purchased for a business use.

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      Headline: Mapp – All rural New Zealanders are losers!

      "Rural new Zealand, basically all losers", says National's Wayne Mapp in a statement posted on toady's “Open Mike" column of the ever-popular blog, The Standard.
      “Tradies” too, get the “Mapp” treatment; “Tradies (all of whom are losers)”, echoing Bill English’s infamous “young New Zealanders are lazy” statement that so incensed the nation in recent times.

    • Graeme 6.2

      In respect to tradies and farmers with their double cabs, I suspect the motor companies will just absorb the $3k in the rather fat margins they've got on this class of vehicle.  

      It's a run-out technology and also a very competitive market. I'm on the margins of the market and I have approaches from dealers often trying to get me into a new truck.  From the deals being offered $3K is well within the negotiating margin as some of the inducements (discount + inflated tradein + extras) I've been offered worked out at more than twice that.

      Also electric / hybrid utes are probably just around the corner and this will / could have then into NZ very quickly.  Land Rover have been very quiet on powertrains for their Defender replacement so wouldn't be surprised if that does't launch with an electric option, or even standard with ICE option. 

      Electric should be ideal for tradies, they don't do big mileages (if they are doing 300 km/day they're not doing any chargeable work), just to and from the job via suppliers, and need strong torque to tow, so should fit the electric profile perfectly.  Then the vehicle is parked at the job all day that usually has a power supply.  But maybe not up to towing the boat up norf once a year…

      • lprent 6.2.1

        Yeah, the power trains for the larger ute/van/suv are pretty well there overseas. Not much boutique has been arriving here because the price signals from the preferential tax treatments mean that big arse utes means that they can (and do) have high profit margins.  

        Big EV’s are going to have the issue of EV premium as they arrive. But I guess that a transfer subsidy will help their introduction as well.

        And that is a market where the general preference is to buy new and expense it in depreciation.

      • woodart 6.2.2

        good sensible reply, unlike waynes alarmist bullshit. as you quite correctly point out, diesel ute retailers are offering way bigger rebates now, to make sales. 

        • Graeme 6.2.2.1

          My take on it is that the makers, and dealers want rid of them, fast, and are doing what it takes.

          I flirted briefly with them and got so put off by the 'do whatever it takes' sales pitches I stepped back.

    • lprent 6.3

      Of course if it reduces transport emissions – that doesn't matter eh?

      Incidentally the high growth market in the inner suburbs around here (Grey Lynn)for transport are e-bikes, e-scooters, and public transport. Why pay Wilson’s parking if you don’t have to?

      I’m about to hop on my ebike and head to work 3.3km away. It will take me about half the time it’d take me by car.

      The people who I see in the carpark with EVs and hybrids are mostly those from the outer suburbs. Mostly from people with 20-40km daily transport needs. This pretty much defines about 80% of all car use. So policy on that at reducing our emissions and fuel costs needs to start there.

      Of course if people need a vehicle for their business including farms, then they will buy the most appropriate vehicle to get a return. They should be able to bear the cost.

      To complain about prices signals in a free market like that is to be a commie. Are you are commie?

      • dv 6.3.1

        AND the 3k is a one off.

        How long will the plumber farmer etc holt the Ute.

        Say 5 years, so the annualised cost is $600!!! Abt 10$ per week!!!!

        Geez what the hell is the fuss about.

        • Wayne 6.3.1.1

          DV

          Most businesses don't thank govt for loading more costs on them, especially if they have no choice.

          However, Graeme might be right. Hybrid and EV utes might soon be on the market. I reckon a lot of tradies would do 100 km per day, maybe more. To and from the work site, plus a delivery/pickup during the day. In rural areas, maybe 150 to 200 is not uncommon, even if not daily.

          There are a huge number of 250 to 300 km trips in NZ. I have been told that Tesla X drivers from North Shore to Whitianga are experience range anxiety. Basically too many hills drastically reduces the advertised range. Though fast chargers in Thames, Coromandel and Tairua would reduce that worry.

          • dv 6.3.1.1.1

            If 10$ pw is a serious cost, then what is going to happen when fuel costs double?

    • Wayne: I know that to National, everything is always about the money, but this policy isn't about how high a standard of living voters get to enjoy, it's about climate change.  If National were interested in paying anything more than lip service to AGW, their approach to a lot of things would be very different.

    • Dukeofurl 6.5

      Its a myth that the 4×4 utes are all owned by tradies and farmers.  At the gym I go to 2/3 of those sort of vehicles seem to  just be urban run arounds . The Tradies generally have  vans as they need to store their equipment – securely- and utes mostly dont have room, or need a secure storage added.

      Car companies can be expected to  electrify these vehicles – firstly for their  city buyers and then rural users.

      SUVs are of course are a joke as for 'need'

  7. Wayne 7

    All the discussion is about tradies, who one way or another will be OK.

    No comment by anyone on the lower income larger families, who are the most adversely affected of any group. Maybe an increase in Working for Families would be the answer. But at present the proposal is likely to be an added cost for families who are already the most hard pressed. Presumably a Labour led government will do something to assist. The announcement should have had something to help these families.

    • lprent 7.1

      Perhaps the reason why no-one is talking about them relative to a subsidy and tax on new cars, is mostly because that group seldom buy new cars?

      Offhand I can’t think of anyone I have ever been aware of who is in a lower income larger family buying a new vehicle. They usually buy second hand ones.

      Perhaps you (or National or the MTA) should provide some statistics what your definition of a low income family is (probably $200k annual income based on past smears) and on how many families on less than say $80k family income this would affect?

      • woodart 7.1.1

        I too would like wayne to tell us how many low income families buy new cars. perhaps his idea of low income is different to mine.

    • No comment by anyone on the lower income larger families, who are the most adversely affected of any group. 

      Adversely affected in what way?  Lower-income large families buy used cars, and usually not straight off the boat because those ones are still fairly expensive.  None of these charges apply to the cars they're in the market for, and the rebates on lower-emitting used imports will have an effect on prices all the way down.

  8. Wayne 8

    Second hand imports will get taxed. Many of the larger models will be bought by lower income families. For Iprent’s benefit in respect of his snarky comment, being less than $80,000 to $90,000 household income (wages, WFF, etc).

    • Incognito 9.1

      She can’t afford a car with seat warming?? Surely, she’s got power steering? Muscle mass decreases when we get older …

  9. R.P Mcmurphy 10

    they have started sticking their necks out on facebook. let them have it!!!!!!!

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