SIVANZ likes to stay on top of current trends in the industry and at the moment a hot topic is EVs. The letter below is from SIVANZ head honcho and is in response to the Editorial in the February issue of NZV8. It has been printed in the March edition of NZV8.
Another good editorial in last month’s issue of NZV8 [Issue No.164] The Future is Near Here
A couple of points from my perspective.
Commentary around EVs [electric vehicles] is healthy; they are here and growing in numbers on our roads. And they will be a useful tool in emissions reductions. But, they are only one solution and not a silver bullet and the sooner media, EV zealots, car companies and government calm down, [the sooner] I think we’ll start to see a balanced discussion and subsequent investment across other viable emissions-reduction technologies. At the moment I fear that we are witness to a series of emotional pleas from some genuinely well-meaning groups to save the world – from New Zealand. And then we have the rapid development of business advisory groups made up of electricity supplier CEO’s, banks, and the EV Industry. Who do you think they are advising, and, advising to do what? Watch this space, I think we are seeing the birth of EV-based cartels. And that dovetails with your comment about the electricity companies “holding us hostage”. Good call.
In parallel with the birth of advisory groups promoting EVs there is also some subtle story telling occurring around the aged fossil-fuelled fleet. Excluding some late-model cars, most of the special-interest-vehicle (SIV) owners sit in this broad group. A couple of articles have been written by a CEO of a car company in recent months and published in a monthly industry forum (keep in mind this guy is on one of these new advisory groups). The first article talked about the aged fleet as being unsafe and that it should be removed from our roads. The second article made reference to the fact that we are not scrapping enough aged fleet vehicles. So, on one hand he’s promoting either one of the brand’s new, safe, fossil-fuelled vehicles or a new EV, and on the other hand he’s sowing the seeds of discontent and distrust around SIVs on our roads. We’re all going to have to be vigilant.
Accepting that EVs are a viable alternative transport choice for some folk, I don’t understand why there isn’t any protest from the tax payers who don’t own, or can’t afford to own, an EV, and yet sanction the government (through their silence) to use their tax dollar to subsidise those people who want to own a new EV. That’s the ‘feebate’ scheme that the government has signed us all up to.
Your comments about EVs won’t “kill our beloved fossil-fuel-burning engines – not in our life time at least” and, “I’ve not met a V8-lover who’s stopped driving their car because the price of gas has gone up” are in my view very pragmatic statements and hard to refute. I don’t want to refute them by the way; I think they’re absolutely on the button.
The issue that every SIV owner will face isn’t going to be that fossil fuel isn’t being made, it will be about availability first, and then price. I think it will be a combination of factors like these that will impact us from enjoying our cars in the way that we have become accustomed. I can see that at some point in the next 5 years we’ll start to observe more subtle language changes (as we’re observing now around climate change and vehicle emissions) combined with new ‘access to fuel’ rules that will start to side-line SIV owners if we’re not careful.
Too doomy and gloomy? Well remember the 8 words no one wants to hear from a suit standing in front of them: “I’m from the government; I’m here to help!”