Govt gives electric cars the green light for Drive Electric Week

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says electric cars are good for the environment as well as the bank account (Getty)
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says electric cars are good for the environment as well as the bank account (Getty)

James Shaw is urging the Government to start building the infrastructure required for electric cars in New Zealand. 

"You've got to create the demand, so you actually need people to buy the vehicles otherwise it's very difficult for the infrastructure people to say 'we'll go ahead and build all the infrastructure'," the Green Party co-leader told Paul Henry on Monday.

"The Government could show some leadership on building the infrastructure."

On Monday the Government launched International Drive Electric Week in an effort to teach people the benefits of having an electric vehicle.

The average electric vehicle travels 120 kilometres on one charge. A top-end model like the Tesla Model S can do approximately 350 kilometres.

In New Zealand currently only 1,663 electric cars are registered.

Mr Shaw says electric vehicles need to be exempt from Fringe Benefit Tax to make them more attractive for Kiwi businesses.

"It's going to take a very, very long time for New Zealand to get with the programme if you don't [make electric vehicles exempt]. And that is because we're following the market at a very, very slow pace."

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says electric cars are good for the environment as well as the bank account.

"Instead of putting in $1.80, $1.90, in petrol per litre into your car, you're talking 30 cents to do the equivalent."

Mr Bridges says there will be a number of events around the country showcasing the cars.

"You get a real sense of achievement by ensuring you're driving on that clean green energy rather than the old fashioned petroleum.

"Ultimately it's going to require a bit of a culture change, from businesses in New Zealand saying this is the right thing for New Zealand, and we can see how it makes a lot of sense for us."

Newshub.