Buses may go electric before most of our cars do

bus
The commission wants to lower New Zealand's emission footprint by replacing all combustion of fossil fuels with clean electricity. Photo credit: Newshub.

Auckland's public transport system is keeping one step ahead of the new Productivity Commission's draft report.

The commission wants to lower New Zealand's emission footprint by replacing all combustion of fossil fuels with clean electricity.

The report says to get our carbon footprint neutral by 2050, 80 percent of our cars will need to be electric. Patrick Reynolds of transport lobby group Greater Auckland says it won't happen overnight, but it probably will without too much effort.

"When you have an average vehicle age of 14 years - we get a new car every 14 years - the whole fleet kind of replaces [itself over time]."

There's a chance public transport users could be riding electric buses before then.

"We have replaced our passenger trains in Auckland with electric trains, and Auckland Transport are also on a process now that has begun of replacing all the diesel buses over the next couple of decades with electric buses," says Mr Reynolds.

"We are technology taking - we do need car, vehicle and bus manufacturers all over the world to [transition], which they are doing, but we are at the end of the line. We just need to wait."

The report estimates carbon prices may need to be 12 times higher than they are currently, something which would impact petrol prices - making electric vehicles even more attractive.

A carbon levy is collected on every litre purchased. At the moment Kiwis pay 4.7 cents per litre. But the commission estimates this may need to go up to 55 cents per litre.

Newshub.