Greenpeace is demanding the Government rethink its refusal to ban fossil fuel cars.
Official documents suggest they considered making the move by 2035, but decided against it.
- Government considered banning all petrol and diesel car imports in the next 15 years
- Electric vehicle costs: How easy is it to be green?
- Government announces proposed clean vehicle incentives
"We rejected that policy - we're just not ready for it here in New Zealand," Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said.
Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman told Newshub it was the wrong call.
"We've already seen electric vehicles coming into the fleet in New Zealand, obviously in much larger numbers overseas.
"All of the major automobile manufacturers are gearing up for the electrification of transport."
Dr Norman said something needs to be done urgently to prevent a disaster for the planet.
"We're in the middle of a climate emergency - Brazil's on fire, the Arctic's on fire. It's about time the Government stepped up the speed in terms of addressing climate change."
He's also of the belief the benefits of electrifying the fleet speak for themselves.
"There's enormous benefits in terms of cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the transport fleet, and there's enormous benefits in terms of reducing costs for motorists."
The documents show the ban would provide more than $2 billion worth of benefits, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out implementing one under her leadership.
"One of the issues of course that we have is making sure those on low incomes can still afford to purchase vehicles," Ardern said.