In­cen­tives for elec­tric ve­hi­cles

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - FELIC­ITY REID

Shorter com­mute times are be­ing used as an in­cen­tive to en­cour­age more New Zealan­ders to consider driv­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

The Gov­ern­ment wanted 64,000 elec­tric ve­hi­cles be­ing driven in New Zealand by the end of 2021, with the aim of help­ing to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions.

The Min­istry of Trans­port was work­ing on amend­ing leg­is­la­tion to al­low elec­tric ve­hi­cles to use some high oc­cu­pancy (T2) lanes and bus lanes, re­gard­less of how many oc­cu­pants were in the ve­hi­cle.

NZ Trans­port Agency (NZTA) was con­sult­ing on a by­law that would al­low elec­tric ve­hi­cles ac­cess to 10 T2 lanes and one bus lane in Auck­land for a 12-month trial.

Of the 11 pro­posed lanes, three were on Auck­land’s North Shore. The T2 and truck lane, south­bound on-ramp, Con­stel­la­tion Drive; T2 and truck lane, south­bound on-ramp, Gre­ville Rd; and the bus lane, north­bound on-ramp, Up­per Har­bour High­way.

The Up­per Har­bour High­way bus lane was the only bus lane NZTA con­sid­ered suit­able for elec­tric ve­hi­cles at the mo­ment.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion of the leg­isla­tive changes, NZTA ran a 14-day trial al­low­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles ac­cess to five Auck­land on-ramps in March.

NZTA found 78 per cent of elec­tric ve­hi­cle driv­ers who took part in the trial said ac­cess to T2 lanes im­proved their jour­ney time, with 94 per cent stat­ing that if ad­di­tional spe­cial ve­hi­cle lanes were made avail­able to elec­tric ve­hi­cle driv­ers they would use them long-term.

Trans­port Agency group man­ager for plan­ning and in­vest­ment Robert Brod­nax said pro­vid­ing in­cen­tives to en­cour­age elec­tric ve­hi­cle up­take was an im­por­tant com­po­nent of the Gov­ern­ment’s Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle Pro­gramme.

He said while some of by­law feed­back fo­cused on the im­pact of elec­tric ve­hi­cles in by­pass lanes this wasn’t in­cluded in the trial.

Leg­isla­tive changes to the Land Trans­port Act 1998 were ex­pected to come into force on in July, with changes to the Land Trans­port (Road User) Rule 2004 and Land Trans­port Rule: Traf­fic Con­trol De­vices 2004 ex­pected in Au­gust.

Fol­low­ing the changes it would be up to in­di­vid­ual road con­trol­ling au­thor­i­ties to make suit­able spe­cial ve­hi­cle lanes avail­able to elec­tric ve­hi­cles by mak­ing by­laws.

Con­sul­ta­tion closes on Au­gust 3.

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