28 January 2021 – Mercury welcomes the Government’s announcement that it will push ahead with introducing a clean car import standard and its signalled openness to a “feebate” scheme to help encourage the faster uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in New Zealand.

“It is time to put the foot on the pedal in terms of transitioning our transport sector to more environmentally sustainable modes,” says Nick Wilson, Mercury’s manager of government and regulatory affairs.

“Urgent action is needed to deliver emissions reductions, and the transport sector is clearly an area where change can happen relatively quickly. Appropriately targeted policy settings are an essential part of the tool kit to support the change that is necessary,” Wilson says.

The Government’s announcement coincides with the release of a study that concludes a rapid uptake of EVs could save New Zealanders $15 billion in vehicle, fuel and carbon emission costs by 2050.

The report, from Concept Consulting and specialist renewable energy transport consultancy Retyna, supports vehicle emissions standards, which will have the outcome of achieving an overall cleaner vehicle fleet, as well as a clean car discount (or “feebate”) scheme which offers discounts for low-emissions vehicles funded from increases in the purchase price of high emissions vehicles.

“It is clear that New Zealand’s natural advantage of high and growing levels of renewable electricity generation is a ‘ready when you are’ solution to the challenge of transitioning our economy’s energy profile,” Wilson says.

“As well as direct change that will be achieved by these policies, these initiatives can give confidence leading to further investments in renewable energy generation.”

Mercury supports the Government’s announcement and believes the detailed EV study provides insights to inform consideration of other initiatives such as fringe benefit tax exemptions on EVs to encourage fleet managers to bring more EVs into their fleets.

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Mercury’s mission is energy freedom. Our purpose is to inspire New Zealanders to enjoy energy in more wonderful ways and our goal is to be New Zealand’s leading energy brand. We focus on our customers, our people, our partners and our country; maintain a long-term view of sustainability; and promote wonderful choices. Mercury is energy made wonderful.