May 12, 2008

Electric Vehicles Becoming A Reality

We were struck by an article on page 71 of the latest edition of The Economist on Renault-Nissan’s plans to “offer a complete range of all electric vehicles in every large car market by 2012. This will follow a pilot programme in Denmark and Israel which will involve the provision of a network of charging points throughout these countries and the introduction of all electric vehicles by 2011. By the way the battery-powered cars will be cheaper than conventional vehicles.

Isn’t 2011 when the Government in New Zealand is planning to start applying the emissions trading regime to the transport sector? It is very close. What approaches to Renault-Nissan has the New Zealand Government made to ensure that in 2012 these vehicles are available here? And given the potential availability here of these vehicles in 3 years time should we not be planning on installing the infrastructure necessary to make them work? How many regional land transport strategies have made provision for this infrastructure? And why isn’t the “Green” Party out their championing the fact that we are on the verge of a wonderful new green technology that has the potential to make major inroads into New Zealand’s carbon footprint?