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Govt buys just eight electric cars: Labour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/01/2017
Last year the government set a target of 64,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2021. © Bloomberg Last year the government set a target of 64,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2021.

Labour has accused the government of applying the handbrake on buying electric cars, with just eight bought in six months last year.

It has released the results of a written question to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce last month, which show that in the six months to the end of September the government bought 2039 vehicles, but just eight of them were electric.

"It is a wasted opportunity for the government to use its purchasing power to increase the viability of electric vehicles in New Zealand," said Labour's transport spokeswoman Sue Moroney.

The eight electric vehicles was even more pitiful than the government's target of owning 2 per cent of the country's electric fleet by 2021, she said.

"The government can't even lead by example to reach that tiny target itself."

Ms Moroney's comments come after Transport Minister Simon Bridges, in an article in the New Zealand Herald, raved about his hybrid electric SUV (which also has a petrol engine).

No number of photos of a grinning Mr Bridges with electric vehicles could hide the fact his government is failing to lead the switch to electric vehicles, she said.

Last year the government set a target of 64,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2021.

Early indications were the public were keen, with more than 2000 registered half way through the year - double the target.

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