‘Record investment’ in low emission vehicles, but still paltry

The Government has announced more funding in support of the use of ‘low emission’ (mostly electric) vehicles, but it is still paltry amounts. It may be a bit more than lip service but it is hardly going to launch us into a transport revolution.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods:  Record investment in low emissions vehicles announced

Low emission transport will receive a record boost totalling more than $11 million, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods announced today.

“Today I’m announcing the largest round of new funding from the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund yet.

“Thirty one exciting new low emissions transport projects will share over $11 million of funding to help more Kiwis make use of new transport technology.

“This funding is made up of $4.3 million of government co-funding and $7.3 million of funds from the private sector. That’s a smart investment that means the maximum benefit for the taxpayers spend.

That’s $4.3 million of Government funding. It suggests that not a big priority is going alternative energy transport.

“This round of funding focuses on innovative projects that expand the use and possibilities of electric vehicles and other low emissions technology in the transport space. It’s about making new technology available to help Kiwis get around, lower our carbon emissions and contribute to our economy.

“From 100% electric campervans for tourists to hydrogen fuel cell powered buses at the Ports of Auckland to solar panel charged electric vehicles and trial of smart chargers in people’s homes, we’re backing new technologies that will make a difference.

“We’re also funding a further 34 new public charging spaces for electric vehicles right around New Zealand, including several at South Island tourism hot-spots. This is about creating a truly national infrastructure of EV charging so that all major trips around our country are available to EV users.

34 charging stations around the country is not a big boost – and it doesn’t solve all the problems of using EVs. A small increase in the number of charging stations will help a bit, but they are still few and scattered, and the range of EVs and the time required to charge them are still significant negatives.

“This is by far the biggest round of new projects delivered by the Fund. Each previous round has given the green light to between 14 and 18 projects. In total, the fund has committed $17.2 million in government funding to 93 projects. This is matched by over $45 million applicant funding.

Trying to talk up an underwhelming investment.

“Transport is responsible for about 18% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, so one of the most effective ways for us to help tackle climate change is to transition our fossil-fuelled transport fleet to run on clean, renewable energy sources. By helping to roll out that technology to more people than ever, today’s announcement helps more Kiwis cut their transport emissions.

It will help a small number of Kiwis charge their vehicles.

The 31 projects are listed, ranging from tens of thousands to a few hundred thousand dollars. It is hardly going to encourage people to invest more in electric vehicles.

But I guess it’s something.

For more information about the fund, visit www.eeca.govt.nz/funding-and-support/low-emission-vehicles-contestable-fund/

For general information about EVs, see www.electricvehicles.govt.nz


NZ Labour’s ‘Corbyn’ project

An exchange on Twitter today where Andrew Little said that Labour was working on a Corbyn-like project.

It would be smart for @nzlabour to read this Economist article

Hint: how to get your mojo back.

From the article How Jeremy Corbyn became the Labour frontrunner:

Mr Corbyn’s path so far has been smoothed by a series of accidents. He entered the race at the last minute, scraping half of his 36 nominations from fellow MPs who had said they would not themselves vote for him, but were uninspired by the rest of the field and wanted a more lively “conversation” among the party.

Unexpectedly, that conversation turned out to be almost exclusively about Mr Corbyn, who surged ahead among the wider party “selectorate” of party and union members. That is one accident.

Another is that, as a result of new election rules introduced last year, MPs are now largely powerless to stop him.

Back to Twitter.

So Lance, who is @nzlabour‘s Jeremy Corbyn?

That’s a tough question, but I believe @AndrewLittleMP could, if he is brave enough to carve a new path.

Corbyn’s path a 3-decade one. Does @AndrewLittleMP have values/record to buttress a radical path? I don’t think so.

Happy to match my 20 years organising & advocating for working people with yours

Indeed. You have the ability to go back to Labour’s roots, but with a modern day context.

That’s the project.

It will be interesting to see how that project pans out. New Zealand in the second decade of the 21st century is very different to New Zealand in the second decade of the 20th century when the Labour Party was formed.

Labour Party history:

Thee new political party emerged from a joint conference in Wellington of the United Federation of Labour, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and local Labour Representation Committees (LRCs).

Since the early 1900s a number of candidates had stood for Parliament under various ‘labour’ banners, including those of the Socialist Party, the Independent Political Labour League, local LRCs, the first New Zealand Labour Party (1910–12), the United Labour Party (ULP) and the SDP, which had been formed at a 1913 Unity Conference in Wellington.

By 1916 there were six ‘labour’ members in Parliament − three elected as members of the now-defunct ULP, two as SDP candidates and one as an independent. They operated as a de-facto opposition to the wartime coalition government. This grouping formed the basis of the second New Zealand Labour Party, which was established at a conference in Wellington instigated by the SDP in July 1916. Although the party’s name was a concession to the moderates, members of the more radical SDP held 11 of the 13 positions on its founding executive.

There won’t be many Labour voters left from early last century.