Levy on traditional vehicles may fund ‘freebate’ for electric vehicles

The Productivity Commission has put out a draft discussion document calling for drastic measures to shift from fossil fuels to clean electricity. One proposal, being promoted by climate change minister James Shaw, is to put a surcharge on new vehicles that rely on fossil fuels and use that to provide a ‘freebate’ to lower the price of electric vehicles.

RNZ: Fuel-car levy could subsidise electric vehicles – govt

In a draft discussion document, the Productivity Commission estimated carbon prices may need to be 12 times higher, up to $250 a tonne, to reach the government’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

That is a huge change in what is supposed to be a market.

It called for a shift from fossil-fuels to clean electricity and greater use of farmland for forestry and horticulture.

Green Party co-leader and Climate Change Minister James Shaw told Morning Report one option being looked at was the prohibitive cost of electric vehicles.

“So what the report is talking about is a freebate system where essentially we charge a price on – we put a levy on – fossil fuel vehicles and you use that revenue to subsidise electric vehicles.”

“What we all know right is that electric vehicles are a lot cheaper to run because they’re roughly about a third of the price per kilometre versus petrol, they’re a lot cheaper to maintain because they’ve got fewer moving parts, but the up-front cost of the vehicle is prohibitive.”

“If we continue to allow greenhouse gas emissions to increase, and we don’t invest in new technologies, and we don’t switch our car fleet and we don’t change how we do electricity, then yes they’re suggesting that there will be a bit of a shock to the economy.”

He said he did not know when such a change might be brought in, and it was just one of many options they were considering.

National is critical:

National’s transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross said the government should follow their lead and continue prioritising electric vehicles for the crown fleet.

Mr Ross said a levy would hit people at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum hard.

He said people who can only afford cheap secondhand Japanese imports would effectively be subsidising the cost of electric cars for the wealthier New Zealanders who can afford them.

That same argument applies in part to subsidies for home insulation and for installations of solar panels.

For vehicles this could be resolved by putting a big enough levy on fossil fuel driven vehicles to enable a full ‘freebate’ – giving electric vehicles to poor people for free. That would be popular, especially in the winter for those who are given a free handout to help pay power bills.

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47 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  April 28, 2018

    More levies (#taxes). >:D

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 28, 2018

      No, dear, excises and levies are not taxes, they may look like them and do the same thing, but they are not taxes.

      Reply
  2. alloytoo

     /  April 28, 2018

    and how exactly are we going to power these vehicles? ,,,,, come back coal all is forgiven.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 28, 2018

    Here’s an idea. How about letting rich people buy electric cars and pay for them themselves?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  April 28, 2018

      There won’t be any more rich people by the time they’ve finished with all the new levies (#taxes).

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  April 28, 2018

        Can I just ask – who’s downticking this?

        Poor people or rich people?

        Reply
  4. sorethumb

     /  April 28, 2018

    i read that it takes more energy to build a car than it ever uses in it’s life.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 28, 2018

      I hadn’t heard that, but can well believe it.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 28, 2018

        I wonder how much energy it takes to destroy one of the old petrol or diesel cars ? And where will the remalns go ? Surely not into landfill – yeah, right. Any Greens around to answer these questions ?

        Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  April 28, 2018

    a suggestion from Shaw…a suggestion that will be…discarded.Relentless mischief.

    Reply
  6. david in aus

     /  April 28, 2018

    The predictable consequences of the ‘freebate’ policy. New cars prices increase making them less affordable. The average age of the car fleet rises. Older cars are less fuel efficient resulting in higher CO2 emissions for the country.

    However, reason and logic are no barriers for this government.

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  April 28, 2018

      Over at Vox there’s an article explaining how charing batteries actually increases carbon emissions. Its all based on research, science, logic and common sense, so its also way beyond the Greens, but something for everyone else to beware of.

      Reply
      • david in aus

         /  April 28, 2018

        NZ’s situation is different, in that, >80% of our electricity supply is renewable. But in saying that we don’t have the capacity to increase electric supply. We were using Natural Gas to generate electricity in peak periods but that has been put in jeopardy by the new government policy.
        Electric cars, at the moment, will result in people plugging in their cars after they come from work; resulting in even higher peak demand with no way to meet it.

        Plea to the Government: please have some analysis and feasibility studies before announcing new policies. For the sake of the country.

        Reply
        • Griff

           /  April 28, 2018

          Electric cars, at the moment, will result in people plugging in their cars after they come from work; resulting in even higher peak demand with no way to meet it.

          Plea to the Government: please have some analysis and feasibility studies before announcing new policies. For the sake of the country.

          We already have demand pricing .
          A timer in the feed to your car charger costs about $30.

          If you shift your charging to off peak you will save the cost of a timer and a sparky to wire it in a few weeks. It is called market signal modifies demand in neo lib.
          So bloody simple.
          Yet beyond your capacity to work out for yourself.

          Reply
          • david in aus

             /  April 28, 2018

            How many people use this?

            Is human behaviour rational or are we creatures of habit?

            You need to think about permutations before announcing new policies.

            Some people are simple minded, we need to think more than one step ahead.

            Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge
            https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/24/ev_power_consumption_needs_rebuilt_grids/

            https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-electric-cars-could-sink-the-texas-grid

            Reply
            • Griff

               /  April 28, 2018

              ROFL
              These things have already been examined .
              Most users don’t fast charge they charge at home overnight.
              A 240v 10 amp circuit will be fine to keep your car topped up daily for most drivers. 8 hours charge off peak 11pm to 7:00 am would be about 19kWh of juice in your battery..
              A Nissan leaf gets around 7 km/kWh
              That’s an easy 133km range a day on a standard NZ power plugs output.
              You would never need to go to a gas station or a fast charger in normal daily life.

              Your links are alarmist nonsense.

            • chrism56

               /  April 28, 2018

              Griff – stop trying to pass off information you found on Google as your own knowledge. The NERA puts the consumption of the Leaf at about 6.7km/kWh, but it is known and admitted that this is not a realistic consumption https://pushevs.com/2017/05/23/electric-car-range-efficiency-table-nedc/
              5km/kWh is more realistic for the type of driving people do. It gets worse if it is cold weather
              https://ev-database.uk/car/1020/Nissan-Leaf-30-kWh
              Yes for most day to day trips, there is no problem topping it up overnight off a standard three pin outlet. Just don’t do a big drive on the weekend and expect the car ready to go near full range on Monday morning.
              And as Alloytoo points out, charging offpeak means you burn gas (or coal), because the generation companies are waiting for the lakes to fill up. In fact, charging at any time means burning more fossil fuels as no renewable generation is currently wasted.

            • David in aus

               /  April 28, 2018

              @griff. Your scenario assumes negligible uptake of electric cars. If you take 8 hrs to charge cars, very few will buy them.
              If electric cars are to be viable alternative to the masses it has to be affordable and convienent to the masses.
              Demand from NZ does not move the needle. It is the massive Chinese and US markets that will drive innovation. They will drive battery prices down and develop new technology.

            • David

               /  April 28, 2018

              “In fact, charging at any time means burning more fossil fuels as no renewable generation is currently wasted.”

              Yes, this is the comical aspect to electric cars. The investment required in new generation capacity to supply anything more than a nobility scale electric car fleet is huge and currently not being though about by those who promote wholesale change as soon as possible.

            • chrism56

               /  April 28, 2018

              Unlike you Griff, I can do metric to Imperial conversions and know the UK still works in miles despite the EU edict. Their range is 30kW to flat, not 80% charge to 15% which is what most people using fast chargers and wanting battery life do. I also know the UK’s highways are a lot flatter than ours, so even though their speed limit is faster, ours are a lot hillier and tighter corners. Regenerative braking still has big losses. And I know a 30kW Leaf with a full charge can’t do Taupo to Napier.

            • Griff

               /  April 28, 2018

              yeah right chrism .
              You posted Miles matey.
              Hows it go? goggled something and did not read it
              NZ users are getting 8km a kWh.
              As too your usual empty assertion you can not do Taupo to Napier. in a 30kw leaf
              Its been done more than once.
              https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=162&topicid=191715&page_no=31

              30kWh leafs don’t have the ability to limit charge to only 80% since the 2014 model .
              So unless you sit there watching as it charges you get to 100% by default every time.
              Any more made up shite coming mate?

              .

            • chrism56

               /  April 28, 2018

              Maths isn’t your strong point is it Griff. I used the 105 miles which translates to 4.8km/kWh (well 4.827, if you want to be precise).
              With regard your link on the Leaf. He hadn’t done it, just saying he was going to do it. And there are chargers at both Rangitaiki and Mohaka. If you actually read further, he only just got back from Raglan to Auckland which is a lot easier trip..

          • alloytoo

             /  April 28, 2018

            Off peak….Fossil fuel time.

            Reply
            • Griff

               /  April 28, 2018

              You do know that miles as used in pomgola are not the same as Km’s as used here don’t you?
              ….. insert laughter here.

              Just don’t do a big drive on the weekend and expect the car ready to go near full range on Monday morning.

              All it needs is enough Monday to do your commute.
              As I pointed out that is about eight hours charging @10 amps 240 volts for 133km .
              If you are worried get Mr Sparky to run a 16 amp circuit to a commando plug or charge the car for 12 hours 7pm to 7am instead of 8..problem solved….
              silly boy.

              .

  7. david in aus

     /  April 28, 2018

    They are better off encouraging electric or plug-in hybrid buses. Once they become glassy-eyed over electric buses, they might forget about shiny trainsets. Hoping the shiny new things can distract his government.

    Electric buses are perfect for this government, they can virtue-signal without costing the country too much. I am into harm-minimisation, like drug-addicts, we should give them safer alternatives.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 28, 2018

      The old trolley buses ran on electricity, didn’t they ?

      Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 28, 2018

          If they are like the trolley ones, they are only good on some routes, anyway. People who want trams and trains back forget that these have one major flaw; they can’t change their routes. I wouldn’t have thought of the fact that the trams would be dangerous in traffic, as they stop in the middle of the road and passengers have to make their way through the cars. All right in the days when there were far fewer, but a nuisance at best and dangerous at worst now.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 28, 2018

            Also the tracks are death traps for cyclists.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 28, 2018

              You must be psychic. I was just thinking of when my mother and her friend bunked off school (how mother ever became a prefect and dorm captain is a mystery) and her friend’s bike wheel caught in a tram track. I seem to remember that she went right UNDER the tram. My mother thought for a ghastly few seconds that Eileen was dead and saw herself having to go back and break the news to the headmistress….The other girl, by some miracle, was all right except for bruises and grazes.

  8. chrism56

     /  April 28, 2018

    There is an article in this morning’s Dom about a rapid battery charger for the electric buses Wellington wants to introduce. The reporter has no technical understanding, so the units are all garbled, but it appears to be 450kW and cost $1.5M. No doubt it is paid for out of the RUCs. They are talking of it charging up the buses at Island Bay in 8 minutes, so they can get back to Wellington. Pity the poor consumers that live on that part of the distribution grid..

    Reply
    • Griff

       /  April 28, 2018

      ROFL
      More rubbish chrism.
      A household stove is 32 amps@240volts.
      1000 households using a stove all at once? (Out of about 2,500housholds in island bay)
      1000 x 240v x 32amps =3,680kW.
      Does the suburb brown out when we cook Sunday roast?
      Once we had incandescent lights most with functioning brain cells* have switched to led’s.
      1000 households switch from using ten 100 watt incandescent lights to ten 10watt leds.
      1000x10x100W=1,000kw. 1000x 10x 10W =100kw .
      900kw less.
      There is enough surplus capacity to run 2x bus chargers@ 450kWh in island bay just from the recent change towards more efficient light bulbs.

      *I wonder about some on here.

      Reply
      • David

         /  April 28, 2018

        Griff, you’re understanding of the real world impacts and costs of this is simply non-existent. You wave a few LED’s around like a magic wand and think this solves all the problem, just like that’, 1MW! Given your impressive power, perhaps you should start a company advising all these people on how easy and cheap it is…..

        Reply
      • 2Tru

         /  April 28, 2018

        Glad I’m not living in your household! Your stove would have all rings and the oven on to use 32 amps (how often does that occur?) and 10 lights on – never in my house (and thank goodness we are all LED). Oh, in case you haven’t caught up, we are 230 volts single phase in NZ – which means (slightly) less wattage.

        Reply
      • chrism56

         /  April 28, 2018

        As usual Griff, you are spouting factoids to display your ignorance. Ovens are rated at 8kW but that is with all the rings and the oven on. Each component is less than 2kW. So how many people cook with all 4 rings on high and the over as well?
        Talking of brownouts, when the Rugby World Cup final was on, the load in NZ jumped 385MW in about a minute at half-time. That was 10% of the countries load at the time. The frequency plummeted and the grid went to Level 2 load shedding.
        Go back to talking about something you know about, like the Panmure Bridge.

        Reply
    • Griff -As David has pointed out, you are displaying your ignorance in spades. If the load is 450kW on say a 1MW feeder that is near rating, what happens to the voltage when the charger shuts off?

      Reply
      • Griff

         /  April 28, 2018

        Gee you cant upgrade the grid ever in Luddite land.
        Jesus you guys are a laugh with your backward looking rubbish.
        Its called conservatism ‘fear of the future.
        Poor Luddites.

        Tesla has 4 125kW 4 bay charging stations already up and running in NZ.
        Haven’t noticed the grid collapsing as a result have you?.
        Yet here we are with a self described expert telling us it cant be done and the grid cant cope ..
        https://electrek.co/2017/07/14/porsche-350-kw-ev-charging-station/
        Coming to your local Porsche dealer soon .,

        Oh dear the world will never cope with these neew fangled electric cars better get the horse buggys lined up according to our expert .

        Meantime dr google gives us an idea about reality not just are little Luddite friends made up shite .
        http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=106389
        Tranzit Group $397,500
        Installation of permanent fast charge unit
        Tranzit proposes to invest in permanent “drive through” opportunity fast charge stations for buses at the Wellington Railway Station bus interchange. Four buses will be able to be charged simultaneously. Tranzit, supported by Greater Wellington Regional Council, is introducing 10 battery electric buses to central Wellington routes mid-2018, with a further 22 electric buses over the following three years. This technology will enable Tranzit to operate the electric buses on up to six additional routes to those initially planned.

        Reply
      • chrism56

         /  April 28, 2018

        As usual Griff, you are unable to read what I wrote. But that is nothing unusual for you. It goes with your spouting rubbish.
        Wellington Railway station is on a heavy duty connection to Kaiwharawhara sub because of all the electric trains. They have also got surge protection and heavy duty tap changers. Island Bay hasn’t.

        Reply
        • Griff

           /  April 28, 2018

          ROFL
          No one has checked to see if its doable apparently it will black out the entire suburb and the guys that designed the transit system don’t even know .
          You an anonymous commentator on a blog know far better than wellington council the company installing the charging infrastructure and those with years designing and building the electric buses .
          Guess what one I am backing….?
          Hand wave away.
          Come back in a couple of months using the same name so I can have another laugh.
          XXXX

          Reply
      • chrism56

         /  April 29, 2018

        I never said it will black out a suburb, in fact, it will do the opposite. That is why I chose my words carefully and as a bonus, proving that you have the inability to read, let alone comprehend, contrary information. The voltage spike when a heavy load trips off every time the buses stop charging will cause over voltage – 260-270V isn’t unusual. That will fry your electronic goods after a while.
        The bus company in Wellington has made numerous mistakes before with their trolley bus substations. Ask any Newtown local about the problems there. And it is well known in the industry that “great” ideas get killed at the last minute by inconvenient facts that no-one thought about – like the Waitaki canal because there was no clay to line it. Either that or expensive retrofits have to be done.
        Putting up stupid responses is your prerogative Griff, like having acronyms like a demented spotty teenage, Text language is so last decade. That and posting links to documents you haven’t read or even better, things that say the opposite buried in the detail. I wouldn’t take that away from you. The rest of us need a laugh. But at least PG seems to have (temporarily?) cured you of the abusive ones.
        But anyway, I got to get out and burn a lot more fossil fuels while I can, so you can rant in obscurity.

        Reply
        • Griff

           /  April 29, 2018

          Yess chsim
          Those peploe don’t know nothing .
          You on the other hand are an expert
          Insert laughter here…..

          You don’t like the changes coming they frighten you.
          We get that.

          You have a consistent pattern of trying to dispute any move towards carbon free economy with hand waving about it can never be done .
          The shift towards a low carbon economy is going to happen. Standing in the way will just leave you as road kill smeared on the annuals of history.
          You have attacked Lazards, Seimins, GE, Tranpower, The OECD and many other respected world class organizations and businesses as know nothing fuckwits.
          look in a mirror.

          As to the going to roll coal nah nah nah.
          Childish kiddy crap .
          In physc talk.
          Triggered into responding like a toddler .

          Reply
  9. Kitty Catkin

     /  April 28, 2018

    I would guess that most people would drive in and switch the power on, like coming out in the morning and switching the jug on.

    I never hear about what will happen in power cuts when the cars can’t be charged !!! Let’s hope that ambulances, police cars and fire engines stay petrol driven.

    Reply
    • Griff

       /  April 28, 2018

      Here is an idea >
      Next time you have a power cut go to the petrol station.
      What no gas for sale.
      yip the pumps use electricity to work.
      No sparks no petrol…..

      i

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 28, 2018

        The ambulances etc have their own emergency supply of petrol, I am certain, just as hospitals have emergency generators…which work with petrol, of course. By the pricking of my thumbs, something awkward this way comes if the Greens have their way.

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 28, 2018

        No cash register, either.

        Reply

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