The National and ACT Parties want less “talk and aspiration” from the Government after the Transport Minister announced plans to boost New Zealand’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Michael Wood has said he wants an EV charging facility every 150km along the state highway network and a charger in every small town with a population of more than 2000.
That, the Transport Minister hopes, will put New Zealand on the road to meeting its target of having 30 percent of the country’s vehicle fleet electrified by 2030.
“At the moment it’s just over 1 percent of the fleet that’s electric,” Wood told Newshub. “It’s a long way to go but we are making progress.”
Although National Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown agreed New Zealand was crying out for additional EV chargers, he said his party wanted to see a costed plan.
“There is a significant need for more EV charging infrastructure but more talk and aspiration won’t deliver anything.”
Brown said New Zealanders needed “a plan that unlocks investment in the EV charging network by removing barriers such as network connections and council policies which make it difficult to get approvals for car parks to be used for EV charging”.
ACT’s Brooke van Velden also questioned the idea.
“I think we have to ask: if private investors are not willing to do it, why should New Zealand taxpayers fork out the money to do it? I think what’s really important here is we have seen a huge uptake in EVs but the Government needs to answer some basic problems far beyond whether or not electric vehicles are ‘cool,'” she told AM.
Van Velden said it was about making sure taxpayers get a bang for their buck.
“You think of KiwiBuild, you think of the Light Rail… the Government is fixated on spending billions of dollars and not delivering anything for it.
“We need to know that if people are going to be using EVs that there’s investment that wants to be part of the problem.”
The Automobile Association, however, is backing the Government’s plan – saying it’s been pushing for it for several years.