The Warehouse, Pak'nSave and New World owner Foodstuffs are among the beneficiaries as the Government doles out another $3.8m from the Low Emission Vehicles Fund.

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The fund was set up by the previous Government, and has so far allocated $23.8m in funding, through the EECA, to 139 projects, matched by $50m from recipients.

The latest round has an emphasis on installing public electric vehicle chargers, particularly outside the main centres.


Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says the $3.8m is being matched by $12m spent by the latest recipients.

Foodstuffs has received $600,400 toward 15 fast chargers that will be installed at various urban and provincial supermarket carparks in partnership with the privately-held ChargeNet.

The Warehouse Group received $265,588 for fast-chargers in eight locations (Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Royal Oak, Gisborne, Petone, Greymouth, Rolleston and South Dunedin), which will be free for public use and complement 24 chargers already in place at various Warehouse stores.

ChargeNet also received a total $334,000 toward four new chargers in Taupo, plus chargers in Mokau and Palmerston.

Woods says all up, the fund has now put money toward more than 1000 public fast-chargers (110 were added with today's round), with 600 operational so far.

The Government's overall aim is to have at least one charging station every 75km.

Rideshare companies and regular recipients Zilch ($300,000) and Cityhop ($312,500) both received another dollop of funding.

They were joined in the latest round by Anglesea Car Rentals ($351,564) and Go Rentals ($180,000).


All projects funded in the latest round, and over the past four years, are listed here.

Woods said round eight of the fund will open for applications on February 19. The investment focus will for the first time include support for publicly-available secure e-bike storage facilities.

The Low Emission Vehicles Fund was criticised by the Taxpayers' Union overnight, which said large companies like Foodstuffs and The Warehouse had the financial wherewithal to fully-fund chargers.

TU spokesman Louis Houlbrooke said, "This is corporate welfare. Businesses already have incentives to install electric vehicle chargers, in the same way they voluntarily provide parking and other perks to customers. There's also a marketing benefit as they gain green cred. Why is it fair for a lucky few to receive taxpayer help for these commercial activities?

"Even more egregious are the grants given to privately-run car-sharing and rental businesses. Providing vehicles is their core commercial purpose. This is like giving BP money to buy petrol."

Foodstuffs North Island boss Chris Quin said, "The key difference for stores is that it's a public good, versus our offices where we fund the install ourselves."


The company's head of sustainability, Mike Sammons, said, "Transitioning to a low-carbon future may not be easy but we're up for the challenge and we see partnerships and collaborations of this nature as intrinsic to achieving the goal of a carbon-neutral New Zealand by 2050."

Houlbrooke argues the fund actually disincentivises businesses to install chargers "if they think that, if they wait, they'll eventually get a taxpayer subsidy to do it".

But the fund does have its genesis in a putative blue-green movement on the Taxpayers' Union's side of the political spectrum. It was set up by then-Transport Minister Simon Bridges in 2016, as part of a range of measures designed to boost the number of EVs on NZ roads to 64,000 (or 2 per cent of all light vehicles) by 2021.

There are currently just under 20,000 EVs registered, according to Ministry of Transport figures.

Other measures in Bridges' package, including a provision for EVs to drive in bus and T2 lanes, have since fallen by the wayside amid luke-warm support from local authorities - although the current Government is assessing financial incentives of up to $8000 for EV buyers and slapping a $3000 fee on high-emission vehicles.