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New Zealand mandates electric vehicles only for all government departments

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern has mandated that all Government agencies must now only purchase electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrid vehicles as part of its new policy to become a carbon-neutral government by 2025.

The mandate comes after the New Zealand Government declared a climate emergency (PDF), and means that all government agencies will only purchase pure electric or hybrid vehicles, and will make efforts to reduce the size of its fleet of nearly 16,000 vehicles by 20%.

The government has allocated $NZ20 million ($AU19 million) from the State sector decarbonization fund to co-fund the cost of EVs and charging infrastructure necessary as part of the mandate.“

I think the first and most important point to make is that this is a declaration based on science,” said Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern, speaking in regards to the declaration of emergency.

Ardern drives a Hyundai Ioniq as her personal car and the government has also ordered an Audi e-Tron for her ministerial use.

Electric vehicles are given priority over hybrids under the new mandate, and any purchase of hybrids must be justified.

“If electrics are not appropriate for their specific needs, then there is a specific operational requirement that they must go through in order to demonstrate why,” said Ardern.

The New Zealand Government’s plan to be a carbon-neutral government by 2025 will also see the country phase out the use of coal boilers in the State sector, and the implementation of an energy efficiency building standard on all mandated agencies who occupy office space over 2,000 square metres.

“The reason we have done this today is that those cases where we do issue declarations are often where there are threats to life, threats to property, or civil defense emergencies,” Ardern said. “If we do not respond to climate change, we will continue to have those emergencies on our shore.”

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