The Government's fleet of vehicles has become markedly more green over the past year -and is set to get greener still in the coming years.
The Government has confirmed it intends to transition its full fleet, including the 32 BMW 7-series vehicles, to emissions-free vehicles by 2026.
In total, 29 per cent of all ministerial vehicles – including Crown and self-drive cars are electric vehicles (EVs). That's up from 2 per cent this time last year.
This comes not long after the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on New Zealand's roads passed 10,000 – that's up from just 210 five years ago.
Although that's a dramatic increase, it makes up just 0.25 per cent of New Zealand's total vehicle fleet.
The complete Crown fleet is made up of 72 vehicles, both owned and leased.
There are 34 chauffeur-driven BMWs – more commonly referred to as Crown cars – and seven other non-BMW chauffeur-driven cars. There are another five vans and 26 ministerial self-drive cars.
Self-drive cars, according to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), are vehicles that Ministers drive themselves, rather than where they are chauffeur-driven.
All cabinet ministers – and the four ministers outside of cabinet – have self-drive cars and 53 per cent of these are EVs.
Of the vehicles owned by DIA, 52 per cent are EVs. Across the entire fleet—vehicles that are both owned and leased—29 per cent of the fleet are EVs, a DIA spokesman said. This time last year, approximately 2 per cent of the fleet were EVs.
And this time next year, the fleet of Crown cars could be a whole lot greener.
"The Department's contract with BMW expires in October 2019 and later this year ourselves, along with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, will return to market to replace the Crown limousine fleet," the DIA spokesman said.
Chris Hipkins, the Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services, said EVs offer potentially massive benefits to both our environment and back-pocket.
"The Government is playing a leadership role and it intends to transition its full fleet including the 32 BMW 7-series vehicles to emissions free vehicles by 2026."
Not all individual vehicles in the next few years, however, will be emissions free because it's not practical, he said.
"For example, if long-distance travel is needed, it's currently not practical to use an emissions-free vehicle due to the lack of charging stations in remote areas."
Climate Change Minister James Shaw signalled in September he was looking into increasing the number of electric cars used by ministers as part of a wider policy push to get more people driving EVs.
"Part of the problem is New Zealand lacks the strong incentives – which most other developed countries have – to sell more fuel efficient and climate-friendly cars," Shaw said.
He signalled new policy initiatives to help speed up the uptake of EVs.
The full breakdown of the fleet:
• 47 diesel
• 16 plug-in hybrid
• 4 battery electric
• 4 petrol
• 1 pure hybrid