Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund

The Government has established a contestable fund to encourage innovation and investment that will accelerate uptake of electric and other low emission vehicles in New Zealand, that might not otherwise occur.

Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund second round has now closed

The second funding round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund with up to $3 million available has now closed.

 Minister's press release - Beehive website

  LEVCF - Frequently asked questions


Details of the conditionally approved projects from the first funding round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund are below.

Press release - Beehive website


The Government established the contestable fund to encourage innovation and investment that will accelerate uptake of electric and other low emission vehicles in New Zealand that might not otherwise occur, so we can reduce carbon emissions from road transport.

The fund will provide up to $6 million per year (up to $4 million in 2016/17) to co-fund, up to 50%, projects with private and public sector partners in areas where commercial returns aren’t strong enough yet to justify full private investment.

These projects will need to contribute to at least one of the following objectives:

  • Increasing the variety and supply of electric vehicles (EVs) available
  • Improving the availability of servicing or charging infrastructure in areas where demand is not fully developed
  • Increasing demand for EVs
  • Developing innovative products or systems to take advantage of growing EV usage

2016/17 and 2017/18 Criteria

There are four criteria under which projects will be assessed:

  • Contribution to the fund’s objectives
  • The project’s fit with the investment focus for this funding round
  • The applicant’s ability to deliver
  • The value for money the project offers

Assessment process

The EECA Board makes funding decisions based on recommendations from an assessment panel. The assessment panel is chaired by EECA board member Elena Trout and comprised of experts from the energy, transport and freight sectors.

2016/17 and 2017/18 Investment focus

To ensure that investment is phased over the life of the fund in a way that matches New Zealand’s progress towards electric vehicles, each year will have a particular investment focus.

The fund’s investment focus for 2016/17 and 2017/18 is demonstration projects that can implemented relatively quickly. These projects need to result in:

  • Lessons on how to overcome challenges to implementing new low emission vehicle technologies that can be used to replicate the same outcomes elsewhere
  • Investor and consumer confidence in the viability of these technologies in New Zealand
  • Opportunities to scale-up the demonstration model
  • Increased visibility of EVs and the associated technology and infrastructure

Examples of projects that could be a good fit include: demonstrations of vehicle types not currently used in New Zealand, car sharing schemes that promote the use of electric vehicles and new ways of addressing transport demands, or projects that create and promote branded tourism routes using electric vehicles.

2016/17 and 2017/18 Scope

Projects that meet the criteria for the funding will encourage and support the uptake of electric vehicles on roads used by the public, and that make use of New Zealand’s renewable electricity advantage. This includes electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars, vans, trucks and buses and associated technologies or services.

Electric bicycles (and other two and three wheelers), quadricycles, as well as the marine, rail and aviation sectors are outside the scope of the fund.

Information and updates on funding rounds

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 Sign-up for updates on the low emission vehicles contestable fund