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Electric vehicles: Promoting improvements in transport

Electric vehicles are attracting a lot of interest as a desirable alternative to conventional internal combustion vehicles. What adjustments can we make to legal and policy settings to encourage their entry into the New Zealand vehicle fleet? This article draws on a growing base of international research about policies in different countries for electric vehicles (EVs, ie passenger on-road cars that derive all or some of their power from the electricity grid). It shows that EV policy cannot be made in isolation from policy concerning the internal combustion engine vehicles (ICVs) of the conventional vehicle fleet. EV policy measures should not labour against a head wind produced by a lack of policy pressure on the adverse effects of ICVs, and we should put at least as much effort into improving the quality of the ICVs that we use as we do into EVs. The high capital cost of EVs cannot be ignored by policymakers seeking to increase their uptake. An innovative policy called a ‘feebate’ would suit New Zealand well, accompanied by measures to improve public understanding of EVs, improvements to the Emissions Trading Scheme, and legislation that would promote policy clarity and make it easier to develop a network of public charging stations
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Barton, B., & Schütte, P. (2016). Electric vehicles: Promoting improvements in transport. New Zealand Law Journal, (1), 6–10.
This is an author’s accepted version. A later version of this article was published in the New Zealand Law Journal February 2016, published by 'LexisNexis'.