About the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund

This fund supports projects that encourage innovation and investment in electric and other low emissions vehicles in New Zealand.

 Find out about round eight

 Read about round seven's successful projects

Background to the fund

Transport is responsible for about 18% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions each year (45% of energy-related emissions). One of the most effective ways to reduce our total emissions is by transitioning our fossil-fuelled transport fleet to run on clean, renewable electricity.

The Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund is one way the Government is helping to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and other low emissions vehicles.

The fund offers up to $7 million a year to co-fund projects with private and public sector partners in areas where commercial returns aren’t yet strong enough to justify full private investment.

The fund is one of several government activities paid for via a levy on petrol and engine fuels.

It is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

Objectives of the fund

To be successful, applications must set out how the project will achieve at least one of these objectives:

  • Increase the variety and supply of low emission vehicles
  • Improve the availability of servicing or charging infrastructure in areas where demand is uneconomic or not fully developed
  • Increase demand for low emission vehicles
  • Develop innovative products or systems for electric vehicles.

Assessment process

The EECA Board makes funding decisions based on recommendations from an independent assessment panel. The assessment panel is comprised of experts from the energy, transport and freight sectors. 

Scope of the fund

Co-funded projects must involve mainstream vehicles, such as passenger vehicles, buses and trucks that operate on roads used by the public, charging, or other technologies that will support EV uptake.

The following vehicles or related technologies are currently outside the scope of the fund:

  • Maritime, aviation and rail vehicles
  • Vehicles intended for off-road purposes such as forklifts and diggers
  • Conventional and plug-in hybrid vehicles and those fuelled with biofuel (as they do not use electricity from an external source)
  • Two and three wheeled vehicles, such as power-assisted cycles and motorcycles
  • Quadricycles and “neighbourhood” electric vehicles

The following projects or activities are also outside the scope of the fund:

  • Any activities that would represent an ongoing financial liability for EECA, such as insurance underwriting
  • Projects that are purely focused on training or professional development
  • Projects that are purely focused on education and information provision (this is a focus of the EECA information campaign)
  • Research – being defined as original and planned investigation undertaken with the prospect of gaining new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding
  • International travel
  • “Business as usual” costs of an organisation, such as the costs associated with existing staff.

For more information, refer to the Request for Proposal document (download below), setting out the scope and criteria for the fund. Note this is for the (closed) round 8. Round nine RFP documents will be published when the round opens in the third quarter of 2020.

If you'd like to discuss a project or idea, contact us on LEVFund@eeca.govt.nz, or call Camilla Cochrane on 027 457 0205 or 04 470 2229.

Next steps

 Apply for co-funding 

 Summaries of approved projects

 Case studies of co-funded projects