Otago Polytechnic

The Advancement Towards Implementation of Electric Vehicles in New Zealand

Elena Dyachenko
19 March 2020

Dyachenko, E. (2020). The Advancement Towards Implementation of Electric Vehicles in New Zealand. Executive Summary of a thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Professional Practice 

Abstract

Working in logistics for more than ten years in different countries, I was wondering how the future of moving goods around the world might look like, especially considering the global climate change and increasing Earth temperature caused by greenhouse gas emissions. I started to envision what could be done in New Zealand with its high penetration of renewable energy, creative people, and flexible caring policy-makers. My passion for logistics and curiosity about disruptive technologies in the industry made me especially interested about the electric vehicles implementation evolved in a number of countries as time passes by.

The synergy of government initiatives all over the world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the rapid pace of developing battery technologies, and the cost reduction of electric cars led the automobile industry to extraordinary results. In 2018, the global electric car fleet exceeded 5.1 million electric vehicles (EVs), up by 2 million from 2017, and the number of new EVs almost doubled in sales. China and the USA remain global e-mobility leaders. Still, it was interesting to compare countries like Norway, Netherlands, Japan, United Kingdom, and Australia to New Zealand because of some similarities each of these countries have with NZ in terms of geographical conditions, population, economy, social and political situation.

The purpose was to learn how electric vehicles can be successfully rolled out, what barriers exist, how they might be overcome, and what unique measures could be applied in New Zealand for the betterment of the country. The research revealed that the government support plays a major role in the implementation of e-mobility through investing in infrastructure, subsidies, removing taxes and fees. The curiosity about the way of thinking Kiwi professionals have about EVs led me to the consequent interviews, and I had a rare chance to look onto the problem from the inside out and develop a list of proposals I would suggest to implement in NZ to start going green with an e-fleet. The reality showed that open communication with energy companies regarding the electric grid capacity and making sure that renewable energy will be used for the fleet electrification are paramount.

The government may want to initially cover the difference in price between electric and diesel trucks to stimulate the market and push rollout of e-trucks as well as sponsor charging points at corporates premises. Overall, a set of measures should be applied with a high level of government support, starting with charging infrastructure, price subsidies, and network investments. The real benefits of transport electrifications will be clearly seen when vehicles, buildings, and the grid will work as one integrated system. My desire was to create a domino-effect solution where changing just one part of the equation – electrification of the long-haul trucking fleet – would have a chain reaction in developing energy, transportation, manufacturing sector.

The project inspired me because the potential electrification of the trucking fleet is perhaps the most important thing that will happen globally in transport over the next decade, assuming that driverless transport is further away.

Elena's primary supervisor was Henk Roodt.

Licence

This thesis is not publicly available. The executive summary is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License