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Former New Zealand PM Advocates Electrified Government Fleet

October 06, 2015

Former New Zealand National Party Prime Minister Jim Bolger is advocating that the government switch from gasoline and diesel vehicles to battery-electric vehicles, according to a report by Radio New Zealand.

Bolger said while he didn't want to quarrel with his successors in office, he thought it would be a good thing for the government to set an example on environmental care to the rest of the country, according to the report.

The latest figures cited by Radio New Zealand show 82 percent of New Zealand's electricity comes from hydro, geothermal and wind, which produce very low, or no emissions.Twenty percent of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions come from transport, so switching to electric vehicles would make a difference.

In June, the government finalized a big chunk of its vehicle purchases across all branches. There were no all-electric vehicles on the list, according to the report.

Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce issued a statement saying the government was keen to adopt electric vehicles but the timing of that depended on cost-effectiveness.

"The recent All-of Government (AoG) vehicles tender received 263 vehicle submissions for consideration, of which only one was a fully electric vehicle and two were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles." the statement said.

In the end no all-electric vehicles were chosen. But, Joyce said that might not apply in the future as electric vehicles became cheaper, according to the report.

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