The Government has agreed to pay $3.5 million towards electric vehicle projects around the country to promote the greener form of transport.

Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins announced today that 15 projects would be conditionally funded, as the Government seeks to meet its target of 64,000 electric vehicles on New Zealand's roads by 2021.

The projects include Foodstuffs using 28 all-electric delivery vans at its supermarkets; supporting Tranzit Group and Auckland Transport introducting electric buses and charging infrastructure; and Waste Management NZ converting three rubbish trucks to run on electricity.

Collins said the Government's contribution would cover up to 50 per cent funding for projects that "demonstrate and showcase low-emission vehicle technologies in high-profile, visible ways".

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The chosen projects would help to normalise electric vehicle technology in this country, and could also be implemented relatively quickly.

"Electric vehicles are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles and, because they're powered by our abundant renewable electricity supply, they will reduce the emissions that come from the country's vehicle fleet," Collins said.

"An electric vehicle in New Zealand produces 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions than a petrol or diesel powered vehicle."

The second funding round is expected to be open for applications in February or March with up to $6m available.

Electric vehicle projects to receive funding

• Foodstuffs: Electric grocery delivery vans
• Auckland Transport: "Smart poles" for electric vehicle charging in public spaces
• Waste Management NZ: Conversion of three rubbish trucks to electric and establishment of two electric truck conversion facilities
• Auckland Transport: Demonstration of an electric bus
• Tranzit Group: Demonstration of an electric bus
• Mevo: Demonstration of car share scheme with 50 electric vehicles
• Z Energy: Demonstration and promotion of electric car sharing
• Green Cabs: Introduction of fully-electric vehicles to its fleet
• Auckland Transport: Establishment of priority parking and 60 charging stations at Auckland park and ride facilities
• Thames-Coromandel District Council: Three fast-charging stations for electric vehicles on popular Coromandel tourism routes
• Unison Networks: Two fast-charging stations for electric vehicles between Taupo and Napier
• The Warehouse: Installation of charging stations at 20 Warehouse stores
• Hutt City Council: Public charging station in a large carpark
• Counties Power: Fast charging station in Pukekohe
• PowerNet: Encouraging electric vehicle uptake among Southland's business fleets