The government is considering banning cars and vans that run off fuel within the next 30 years. However, petrol cars are not the only problem with our transport system. We need more people to walk, cycle, or use public transport. For those needing a private vehicle, electric cars will likely be the option of choice. Will electric cars take over petrol cars as New Zealand aims to become carbon zero?
The Zero Carbon Act
The government has proposed emissions reduction targets to be achieved by 2050. These are outlined in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Action 2019. The suggestions have been made to support what was committed to in the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Emissions of all greenhouse gases apart from biogenic methane must drop to net zero by 2050. The proposed changes have been suggested to help New Zealand achieve this target.
Potential Transport Sector Changes
Right now, the transport sector is responsible for producing 47% of CO2 emissions in NZ. Transport emissions in the country increased by 90% from 1990 – 2018 – a trend in the wrong direction when it comes to global warming.
As part of the goal to make NZ carbon zero, we could see the majority of petrol motors taken off New Zealand roads. Imports of fuel-burning cars and vans would end by 2035, giving owners 15 years to then switch to an electric vehicle or other transport option.
Green Paper Recommendations
The green paper ‘Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050’ suggests numerous ways that we can reduce transport emissions. These include using alternative methods of transport, causing many people to wonder, ‘will electric cars take over petrol cars?’. However, electric cars are not the only solution to our emission issues.
The paper suggests using alternative transport methods such as walking, cycling, and public transport to help do your part for the planet. But the onus is not just on the public to change how they get from A to B. The proposal outlines how the government could support this change through improving cycling and walking networks, car sharing support measures, and adapting street layouts to encourage the use of public transport.
Two-thirds of all transport emissions come from the light vehicle fleet, as so many of us own a private vehicle. That’s why another suggested step is decarbonising passenger vehicles. This could be achieved through the use of cars with biofuel or electric vehicles.
The final recommendation from the green paper was to create more efficiencies in the freight system. Optimising freight routes and how the vehicles are used has the potential to lower emissions significantly. For example, trucks driving shorter routes and freight containers not being sent half empty. Improved collaboration and data sharing can support these changes. Less carbon intensive freight methods, such as train transportation, could also be leveraged to lower emissions.
Together, these proposed changes have the potential to make New Zealand carbon zero by 2050 if implemented the right way.
The Case for Electric Cars
Of course, one of the best ways to help NZ become carbon zero is by individuals switching our private petrol vehicles over to electric cars. This is a simple change that has little impact on the owner while having a significant effect on emissions.
There are many benefits to driving electric cars. Not only are they better for the environment, but they are also really cheap to run. Stop watching petrol prices rise and just plug in your car to charge it up. The cost of electricity is far less than you’d pay at the petrol station to fill up the car.
Many people would love to get an electric car, but the cost of buying one is a huge barrier. However, as the government wants to support people to switch to electric vehicles, they are offering rebates as an incentive. Additionally, as more electric cars are imported into the country, the prices will likely decline, making them a much more affordable option.
Will Electric Cars Take Over Petrol Cars?
Will electric cars take over petrol cars on New Zealand roads? Only time will tell. More and more people are already purchasing electric, and if the government ban on petrol car imports and ownership goes ahead, people won’t have much choice.
Hopefully, more of us can go green by walking, cycling, or taking public transport to help NZ become carbon zero. However, many of us will still need a vehicle. To find the latest car listings, check out Shopless. With thousands of cars for sale, you are sure to find your ideal vehicle – whether it’s petrol or electric.