15 EV projects greenlighted for $3.5mn funding pot

Fifteen Electric Vehicle projects have been conditionally approved to receive around $3.5 million from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.

The funding will provide up to 50 per cent funding for projects that demonstrate and showcase low emission vehicle technologies in high-profile, visible ways that help to normalise these technologies, and that can be implemented relatively quickly. The Fund was established to help meet the target of 64,000 electric vehicles on New Zealand roads by 2021.

According to Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins, the first funding-round was heavily oversubscribed with around 80 applications.

Electric vehicles in New Zealand produce 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions than a petrol or diesel powered vehicle, are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles and, because they’re powered by an abundant renewable electricity supply, they will reduce the emissions that come from the country’s vehicle fleet, said Minister Collins in a press release.

The second funding round, with up to NZ$6 million available, is likely to open for applications in late February/March 2017.

The Fund is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). For more information about the fund visit

More about the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund’s conditionally approved projects:

Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd: Electric grocery delivery vans
Foodstuffs NZ will use 28 100% electric delivery vans at a range of Four Square, New World and PAK’nSAVE stores throughout New Zealand and install public charging stations at some of the supermarkets where these vans are based. This will be a highly visible and influential demonstration of a fully electric zero emission van for delivery services.

Auckland Transport: Smart Pole electric vehicle charging in public spaces
Auckland Transport will replace two existing street poles with Smart Poles to demonstrate the potential of this scalable technology for repetitive deployment of public infrastructure to support EV charging, and other functions such as way-finding signage, push-to-talk emergency calling, WiFi, adaptive street lighting and other sensors.

Waste Management NZ Ltd: Establishment of two electric truck conversion facilities
Waste Management is converting three trucks to 100% plug–in electric by EMOSS in the Netherlands. The first of these arrived in Auckland in December 2016 and will shortly commence trials. The remaining two are expected to arrive in early 2017. Upon successful completion of these trials, this project will contribute funding towards the design and conversion of two further diesel trucks with different power demands and establish an electric truck conversion and service facility in Auckland. This facility will convert additional heavy vehicles from Waste Management’s fleet and assist other New Zealand fleets with their designs, avoiding the high initial costs of freighting overseas. This project will develop heavy electric vehicle skills and jobs, which will in turn help facilitate uptake of EVs in New Zealand.

Auckland Transport: Demonstration of an electric bus
Auckland Transport will receive co-funding for a 100% electric bus and associated charging infrastructure to be used by Auckland bus operators in regular operation over a range of routes to gather data and enable assessments as to the best operating environment for electric buses on New Zealand roads. This information will be shared with other public transport funders and providers to build awareness and understanding of the potential of electric buses.

Tranzit Group Ltd: Demonstration of an electric bus (in association with Auckland University of Technology)
Tranzit Group will demonstrate the use of a 100% electric bus and associated charging infrastructure to assess the feasibility of operating an electric bus fleet in a New Zealand urban environment. The electric bus will be used on services under contract with AUT – between University campuses on the North Shore, Central City and South Auckland.

Mevo Ltd: Demonstration of 50 electric vehicle car share scheme
The Mevo project will demonstrate a car sharing fleet of 50 high quality plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in Wellington’s CBD. This includes the installation of 64 kerbside charging stations, throughout the CBD. Regular users are expected to be local businesses including Victoria University Wellington, Meridian Energy and Biz Dojo, and local residents. A quarter of the kerbside charging stations will be available for public EV charging.

Z Energy Ltd: Demonstration and promotion of electric car sharing (in association with Mevo Ltd)
Z Energy will encourage its customers to experience driving an electric vehicle via the Mevo car sharing service. Z will lease and host MEVO electric vehicles at two centrally located Z sites in Wellington, making the technology visible and accessible to a broad range of customers. Promotions will encourage visitors to these Z sites to obtain and use a single-use code for a free temporary registration with Mevo and one hour use of any Mevo car at a discounted rate.

Green Cabs Ltd: Introduction of electric vehicles into the taxi fleet to prove commercial viability
Green Cabs led the way on the use of (non-plug-in) hybrid cars as taxis; this project will pilot the use of a range of electric vehicles in their commercial taxi fleet. The project will help to normalise and demystify EVs through high visibility and ride experience.

Auckland Transport: Establishment of priority parking and 60 charging stations for electric vehicles at park and ride facilities in Auckland
Auckland Transport will raise the profile of electric vehicles in Auckland by giving EVs priority parking and installing 60 charging stations at Auckland Transport public parking and park and ride sites across the region. This project will use strategically located sites to maximize the visibility of priority EV parking and use of charging infrastructure to the public, and will gather data for assessment of future investment opportunities.

Thames-Coromandel District Council: Three fast charging stations for electric vehicles on the Coromandel Scenic Touring Route
This project will establish a network of three fast charging stations around the Coromandel Peninsula in order to promote the region to the domestic and tourist EV-driving market. The fast chargers will be located at Tairua, Whitianga and Coromandel Town, which are not on any current plans for EV charging infrastructure rollout. The provision of a strategically positioned network of fast chargerswill promote the use of New Zealand’s abundant renewable electricity supply to tourists, and stimulate the popularity of electric vehicles.

Unison Networks Ltd: Two fast charging stations for electric vehicles to create the ElectricThermal Explorer Highway between Taupo and Napier
Unison Networks will install two fast chargers on the ‘Thermal Explorer Highway’ route between Taupo and Napier. As well as being a popular tourism route, this highway is also the primary transport link between the Central North Island and Hawke’s Bay region. This project is expected to remove a barrier to EV uptake in the Central North Island and promote the use of New Zealand’s abundant renewable electricity to the tourist market.

The Warehouse: Installation of charging stations at 20 Warehouse stores
The Warehouse will install, and provide free for six months, electric vehicle charging stations at 20 stores in areas that are underserviced for EV charging. This project, and the promotion of it by the Warehouse, will make EV charging infrastructure highly visible to large numbers of shoppers.

Hutt City Council: Public EV charging station in a large carpark/parking building
Hutt City Council will promote the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in commercial carparks by running a competitive tender for an EV charger in a large car park. It is hoped that this process will lead carpark owners to conclude that installing EV charging infrastructure should be a business as usual practice.

Counties Power Limited: Fast charging station in Pukekohe
Counties Power will install a public fast charging station in Pukekohe, which does not currently have fast charging infrastructure. This will enable increased use of electric vehicles by local businesses and is also expected to be used by EV owners travelling to Pukekohe to watch race events.

PowerNet Limited: Encouraging EV uptake in Southland business fleets
PowerNet will engage with, encourage and facilitate Southland businesses (initially targeting 10 businesses) to incorporate one or more electric vehicles (EVs or PHEVs) into their fleet mix. The vehicles will be highly visible to the public. PowerNet will also supply and install charging infrastructure at an agreed business location.

Related articles

EV charging infrastructure guidance released
MBIE launches Renewable Energy consultation

Image credit: Logo vector designed by Freepik