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New Zealand unveils incentives for people who trade in their ‘gas guzzlers’ for e-bikes, zero-emission vehicles

The New Zealand government has unveiled a “clean car upgrade” to encourage people to use zero emissions vehicles as part of its landmark climate change plan.

Many low-income residents will be incentivized to trade in their “gas-guzzlers” for e-bikes and zero emission cars as part of New Zealand’s emissions-cutting climate change plan.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government has set aside $515 million for the “scrap-and-replace” scheme, one of several eye-catching measures in the plan, released on Monday after four years in the making.

There is also money for scaling up native forests, decarbonization, diverting organic waste from landfill and even more bus drivers for the expected public transport boom.

Ardern was absent from the meeting due to Covid-19. A group of ministers led by deputy PM Grant Robertson outlined $2.6 billion of spending. Robertson said it was “a turning point in history.”

“This plan guides every single sector of society and our economy to meet the long-term targets we’ve seen in the budgets that keep us on track along the way,” he said.

More than one billion dollars of the new spending will be spent decarbonizing transport, including the “clean car upgrade” scrap-and-replace scheme.

The aim is to take 2500 cars off the road next year, replacing them with other cleaner modes of transport, for $14.5 million. Lower-income families will be targeted in the scheme, which ramps up in 2024. At the time of writing 2% of New Zealand’s cars are low or zero-emission vehicles, and the government wants to hit 30 per cent by 2035 — when new “dirty vehicles” will be banned.

Public transport features strongly, with $55 million pledged to attract bus new drivers and offer competitive pay. The plans aim is to have New Zealand’s bus service to have zero-emission by 2035. The plan has not yet given a timeline for phasing out coal.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CT INSIDER

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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