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Transport

Transport is an important area of focus for EECA. This is because the transport sector accounts for almost 40% of New Zealand's energy use - more than 200 PJ per annum.

What's more, with almost 100% of vehicles currently fossil-fuelled, the sector is responsible for more than 50% of energy-related CO2 emissions (and about 20% of New Zealand's total). Energy efficiency in this sector has a direct impact on CO2 emissions, and has an economic benefit, as it reduces the amount of imported oil we use.

EECA's transport programmes focus on improving transport energy efficiency by influencing:

  • The vehicles we drive
  • How we drive them
  • Our fuel choices and other ways we can make our vehicles more efficient

Information for motorists

EECA provides advice to motorists on choosing a vehicle, how to drive more fuel efficiently, and fuel choices through the ENERGYWISE website, as well as information campaigns in the media and other channels.

Vehicle fuel economy labels

EECA administers the vehicle fuel economy label, which helps people make an informed decision about the vehicles they are considering buying.

All new cars, and all cars manufactured since 2000 and imported since 2005 for sale in New Zealand, must display information about the vehicle's fuel economy, whenever that information is available.

This applies to any vehicle sold by a motor vehicle trader and any person selling a vehicle on internet trading websites.

EECA uses information campaigns to increase consumer awareness of the label. EECA's research shows that just over 60%1 of buyers are aware of the vehicle fuel economy label.

EECA introduced a simplified Vehicle Fuel Economy Badge in 2014 to help the car industry promote the fuel efficiency of the cars it advertises.

Fuel efficient tyres

The Fuel Efficient Tyre programme, which launched in October 2014 sees EECA working in partnership with industry to run an information campaign to increase consumer awareness and uptake of fuel efficient tyres.

An ENERGYWISE approval mark will help consumers identify tyres that meet standards for both fuel efficiency and braking in the wet.

Tyres can make a surprising difference to the fuel economy of a vehicle, up to 7%. The lower the rolling resistance of the tyre, the less force needed to turn the wheels and therefore the less fuel consumed. Fuel efficient tyres can save up to $500 over the life of the tyres. With over three million cars on our roads, increased uptake of fuel efficient tyres represents a significant opportunity to reduce emissions at a national level. Cars are responsible for about 10 per cent of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions.

The Fuel Efficient Tyres initiative will cost $2 million over two years, and is expected to save approximately 2.5 million litres of fuel each year, and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 6,000 tonnes a year.

Heavy vehicles

Through EECA BUSINESS, EECA works to improve the fuel efficiency of the heavy vehicle fleet, which uses 20% of fuel in New Zealand. As well as lowering costs for operators, better fuel efficiency reduces national CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption. A more fuel efficient fleet is also safer, with road incidents and crashes reduced by as much as half.

EECA's Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency programme was launched in July 2012, initially focusing on large fleets. It is estimated that the average fleet can save 10% of its fuel use through driver behaviour change, and better management systems and processes.

In April 2014, the Government announced it will spend $1.1 million to double EECA's current Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Programme to reach an additional 150 small to medium sized vehicle fleets over three years. Read more in the media release.

Renewable transport energy

New Zealand uses substantial renewable energy for electricity generation and heat. However, the transport sector uses less than 1% renewable energy.
New Zealand is most likely to increase renewable energy in the transport sector through the use of biofuels and electric vehicles.

Biofuels

Biofuels are renewable fuels that can be used in the place of fossil fuels. EECA has developed a range of information about biofuels for industry and consumers, including sustainability information.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles present an opportunity to make use of New Zealand's highly renewable electricity for transport. In addition, their higher efficiency means that day-to-day running costs are very low - the equivalent of paying for petrol at around 26c a litre. The greatest barrier to the uptake of electric vehicles is their higher upfront cost, however this is reducing. 

EECA provides advice on electric vehicles to consumers through the ENERGYWISE website.

 

Notes:

1 62% as at June 2014 - EECA Annual Report 2013-14