As renewable energy and sustainable solutions sweep global industries, a wealth of opportunities lie in markets not yet transformed. Climate change issues increasingly capture governments worldwide, and many are looking for ways to reduce carbon and other emissions.

New Zealand is stepping forward locally and on the world stage to revolutionize the way it does business. Its growing environmental conscience is being met with creative and innovative solutions to promote commercial sustainability.

One ticket to cleaner, greener business that the government grips tightly is the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles. We explore the opportunities for business in this burgeoning industry.

Competing economic and environmental demands

Roy's Peak, New Zealand

According to Statistics New Zealand, a record-breaking 3.82 million people visited the country in the March 2018 year.

New Zealand’s economy is strong, productive, and internationally connected. The nation experienced positive growth for 33 of the last 35 years, and consistently tops world rankings for its liberalized market and doing business.

The island nation’s pristine landscapes and ‘clean, green’ image draw millions of tourists to its shores annually. According to Statistics New Zealand, a record-breaking 3.82 million people visited the picturesque country in the March 2018 year.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the public and government are adamant about preserving their natural treasures and mitigating climate change. In recent years, the country has advocated significant economic overhauls, both locally and internationally, in the name of environmental conservation.

Tidy Kiwis combatting climate change

Peddling its natural beauty as a hot commodity, New Zealand is thus seized by efforts to protect it. It has therefore made national and international pledges to reduce the environmental impacts of industry on the land and atmosphere.

The Labour-coalition government has set an ambitious plan to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050. Though the plan emphasizes the country’s dominating agriculture sector, it also includes reducing the use of fossil fuels in transportation.

One way New Zealand moves towards modernization and reduced carbon emissions is through supporting the emerging electric vehicle (EV) industry.

The plan for electricity to revolutionize transport

Widespread adoption of EVs could also help New Zealand reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80%.

Widespread adoption of EVs could help New Zealand reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80%.

In May 2016, the government announced an Electric Vehicles Programme. This establishes measures to increase numbers of EVs in the country, with a goal of introducing up to 64,000 EVs into the market by 2021. This plan is headed by Ministry of Transport.

High suitability for EV adoption

According to the Ministry of Transport, New Zealand well placed to bring EVs into its market. Over 80% of its electricity comes from renewable sources. This durable supply can accommodate large-scale introduction of electric-powered vehicles. Widespread adoption of EVs could also help New Zealand reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80%. Additionally, daily commutes for the average urban New Zealander reach just 22 kilometers – a manageable distance for EV batteries.

The government sees EVs as a key driver towards a low-carbon economy. EV facilities are now popping up at gas stations, public car parks, and large commercial premises such as shopping malls. Kiwi and foreign businesses moving into the market early are exploring the country’s capacity for both electric cars and bicycles.

New Zealand sets the stage for electric investment

While New Zealand has good intentions for electrifying its transport sector, it doesn’t necessarily have the local business to support it. It is, however, perfectly apt to pursue a well-traveled path to draw that business in: attracting foreign investment. 

Opportunities for investors in the electric transport industry are waiting to be snapped up by early movers. Several car manufacturers are bringing EVs into the market. Improving accessibility and affordability of electric transport options is a key focus. Products and systems targeting these issues can expect long term success in this market.

A welcoming government and suitable environment for EV adoption makes light work for expanding businesses. The nationwide aim to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2050 sets companies up with a long queue of customers. Furthermore, startups and well-established companies alike are receiving recognition for their innovative, sustainable business efforts.

Awards for sustainable business

EV implementation forms the backbone of award-winning initiatives in New Zealand

Awards for sustainable business ventures promote New Zealand’s renewable energy and climate change agendas.

New Zealand recognizes excellence in sustainability with the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards. This spotlight on innovative ventures promotes further investment in the government’s renewable energy and climate change agendas. Specific award categories are dedicated to ‘Smarter Transport’ and ‘Revolutionizing Energy.’

Award-winning electric vehicle initiatives

EV implementation forms the backbone of award-winning initiatives such as:

  • Mevo is an electric vehicle hire company in Wellington city. Using an app, people can locate, book and access electric vehicles. The fleet’s carbon emissions are offset 120%.
  • ChargeNet NZ is working to connect all charging facilities by installing a nationwide network of rapid charging infrastructure. Their goal is to enable charging every 80 kilometers on main highways and in urban areas.
  • Waste Mangement NZ aims to reduce the diesel use of its heavy vehicle fleet by converting some of its 800 trucks to electric vehicles.
  • BOLTRA is a company making e-bike ownership more affordable and accessible. The company seeks to address researched barriers to cycling, by offering 30-day hire subscriptions that include premium cycling equipment, unlimited maintenance, and comprehensive theft-proofing and insurance.

A nation going green(er)

New Zealand’s milestones for reaching its 2050 goal include targets to reduce emissions:

  • to 5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020
  • to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Internationally, New Zealand has committed to the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding global emission reduction regime. Tied into worldwide pacts to mitigate climate change, the government is focussed on pooling local and foreign investment and skills to reach its emissions targets.

For this reason, the country continues to welcome people and businesses offering answers to a greener future.

Interested in expanding to New Zealand? Talk to us

New Zealand’s innovative political and environmental landscape fosters diverse markets for startups and expanding businesses. To take advantage of the country’s growing sustainable business opportunities, it’s important to first get help expanding into new territory. We can help make sure your business runs as smoothly as possible from day one.

Biz Latin Hub provides tailored business solutions in due diligence, commercial representation, and recruitment, among other services. Our New Zealand team offers expert support to ensure a smooth transition. 

Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll help you design a strategy to capitalize on New Zealand’s investor-friendly landscape.