Government fleet electric vehicle numbers not good enough - Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn't happy with the number of electric vehicles in the Government fleet, although she thinks it's headed in the right direction.

Ardern told The AM Show the Government has not abandoned its target of moving the fleet of 15,000 vehicles to electric by 2025/26, even though according to her it currently only has 130 of the lower-emissions vehicles. 

"The overall numbers I don't think are good enough, even though we are seeing over time the emissions numbers going down."

She did clarify that the goal to switch out regular internal combustion engine vehicles for electric is only "where practicable" though.

"There will be some circumstances where actually there's just not going to be something that will meet the needs."

In the meantime, the Government is waiting to see if longer-range vehicles will become available for the parts of the fleet that travel larger distances.

"We have a wide range of vehicles from DoC out in areas where they're travelling longer distances.

"Things like police vehicles, we need to make sure that when we're purchasing vehicles that are electric, they're going to need to be fit for purpose," Ardern said.

She's pushing those departments that can't move to electric just yet to ensure they're still picking the most efficient vehicles possible.  

"We've said that when a purchase is made, that agencies that are buying have to bring down their emissions profile by 20 percent year on year.

"So we're basically requiring that even if there isn't an EV that's going to do the job they have to reduce their emissions profile, so they've got to turn the dial over time."

But Greenpeace climate campaigner Amanda Larsson wants to see the Government leading the charge away from fossil fuels.

"This is a climate emergency and the Government should be leading by example to cut our dependence on the dirty fuels driving this crisis."