The New Zealand government has just approved funding for 22 new low-emission transport projects across the country. The projects in the latest round of government co-funding include a bike and car share scheme, EV charging stations as well as hydrogen and battery-electric trucks.
The purpose of the Contestable Fund is to encourage innovation and investment that will accelerate the uptake of low emission vehicles in New Zealand. The New Zealand government is contributing $3.7 million NZD (around 2.2 million euros) via the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund (LEVCF) while the 22 recipients put forward a total of $9.4 million NZD (around 5.6 million euros). The fund is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). With examples, the New Zealand government has extrapolated on some of the projects:
In the upper North Island of the country, Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust has promised to deliver a subsidised e-bike storage project at its largest community housing development in Christchurch. This project is receiving government co-funding for secure e-bike storage while applicants will finance the electric bikes themselves. The same housing development will also have access to electric cars from another project to receive government funding, whereby two Nissan Leafs will be offered in an electric vehicle car share scheme.
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In terms of charging infrastructure ChargeNet will deliver further 300kW chargers at Rotorua, Tauranga and Dunedin. These towns mark routes across almost the entire length of the island nation which should ensure zero-emission energy supply for getting from one end of the country to the other.
With 300 kW, these high-powered fast charging points will suit battery-electric trucks. On the battery-electric truck side, Fuso has committed to purchasing and fitting out a fully electric truck for extended test drives by potential customers. Another project in this round also involves Fuso, this time with a one-year e-truck trial with five electric trucks and chargers with major transport companies in the proposed Auckland Transport Queen Valley Zero Emissions Area.
Hyundai, which only recently released its international strategy for fuel cell trucks, will be purchasing and deploying five of its hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks. With a lot of sun, wind, numerous waterways and a massive coastline, not to mention volcanic thermal energy, New Zealand is overflowing with potential renewable energy sources, both for charging vehicles and making green hydrogen.
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