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Fifteen years to ICE-zero

5 February 2020

I've been predicting that the shift from ICE vehicles to EVs will happen far more quickly than many have expected.

Yes, my regular writings on the subject border on the boring and repetitive but it's something that smart people are preparing for "as I type".

Not only is China preparing to roll out an incredible range, diversity and volume of EVs over the coming decade, but governments around the world (albeit seemingly with the exclusion of "clean, green" New Zealand) are becoming aware of the trend. In fact, some are even hastening the move.

I refer to the UK where a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol powered cars has just been moved closer, from the original proposal of 2040 to 2035.

That's right, in just 15 short years it will be illegal to sell new ICE cars in the UK.


I think it's fair to say that the writing is very much on the wall.

How embarassing it would be for New Zealand to be left behind in this transition to electrifying its transport fleet and thus dramatically slashing the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Where would our fancy (and rather false) tourism slogans be then?

Perhaps the only reason people would come to our fine country on holiday might be because we may yet become the Cuba of the South Pacific... a nation where, at least on an automotive scale, time will stand still for decades to come.

Yes, that's right... while the rest of the first-world's populations glide serenely from place to place, emitting nothing more than a quiet whine from their EVs, New Zealand will still be clattering and banging from place to place in old ICE-powered vehicles that belch CO2 and CO into the very air we breathe.


Well because (as I've also said before) this country forgot that EVs require electricity to operate.

Whilst NZ taxpayers effectively continue subsidising Rio Tinto's smelter in Bluff to the tune of tens of millions a year -- by way of electricity provided well below cost-price, the paucity of supply will mean that most of us will still have to fill our tanks with dino-juice every week and rely on ever-aging vehicles that are not only expensive to run but increasingly expensive to maintain.

I also think to the town in which I live, Tokoroa.

Despite me making an incredibly strong case for the town to be themed "EV-Town" and fitted out with a row of ever-more-valuable EV supercharging stations right on the side of SH1, the local council still thinks they're doing their bit by having one single solitary EV charger (not supercharger) hidden away in a supermarket carpark, well off the beaten track.

Apparently there was quite a queue for that charger the other day too.

However, because it was *me* who proposed the obvious benefits of leveraging the town's position to lure in EV drivers for "a charge and a coffee" so as to put much-needed foot-traffic in the town's CBD, this will not happen.

To quote Councilor Bill Machen "You know Bruce, you have some really good ideas, but because it's you..."

So forget about any commonsense prevailing, either at a local or central government level. It seems that all our politicians are out to lunch (with a bottle or two of Sav Blanc no doubt).

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it think.

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