Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund Round Five

Got an idea to support increasing the number of EVs on our roads, particularly for heavy vehicles or to close gaps in charging infrastructure? You may be eligible for funding.

Successful projects from round five

Successful projects from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund round five have been announced. $4.315 million will be provided to co-fund 31 projects ranging from electric trucks to electric tourism vans, and chargers to vehicle-to-home technology.

 Read a summary of the successful projects [PDF 199KB]

 Successful projects from previous funding rounds

 Minister's press release - Beehive website

Round six due soon

Round six of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund will open shortly.

Proposal documents will be updated on this page for download on the day round 6 opens.

If you would like to be informed by email on the day, please sign up to our “Electric Vehicle News” eNewsletter 

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 Contestable fund background

The Government established the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund to support a reduction in carbon emissions from road transport by encouraging innovation and investment that accelerates uptake of electric and other low emission vehicles in New Zealand.

The fund provides up to $7 million per year to co-fund up to 50% of project costs 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. 

To be approved projects 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.

Assessment criteria

There are four criteria under which projects are assessed:

  • Contribution to the fund’s objectives
  • The project’s fit with the investment focus for the 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.


The fund is limited to projects involving mainstream vehicles (and related technologies) that operate on roads used by the public, such as passenger vehicles, buses and trucks.

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 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, as 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.

Round five investment focus

Each year, the investment focus of the fund is reviewed and updated to ensure our investment continues to match New Zealand’s progress towards low emissions vehicles (LEV).

The fund’s investment focus for round five was to:

  • Support the development of the charging network by identifying and filling the key gaps in the network, and by supporting EV charging stations in priority locations where further facilities are needed
  • Facilitate the scale-up of LEV technology, especially in shared fleets and public transport
  • Enable the demonstration and uptake of light and heavy LEVs and associated technologies through high visibility projects in sectors of the economy where LEVs remain relatively unproven
  • Encourage electric vehicle technology innovation, particularly Vehicle-to-Grid and Smart Charging technologies potentially resulting in reductions to peak electricity demand
  • Support the development of electric vehicle maintenance, repair and other support services.

Examples of the types of projects we would consider as fitting the investment focus include:

  • Regional partnerships to catalyse territorial authorities and the electricity sector to build provincial EV communities, which will result in increased EV uptake, and the development of the rural charging network
  • Charging infrastructure at tourism destinations, in smaller centres, and on secondary routes to help speed up the establishment of a nationwide recharging network
  • Assisting with infrastructure costs to enable the rollout of electric bus fleets or large light electric vehicle fleets
  • Deployment of electric trucks and electric buses in the logistics and public transport sectors
  • Vehicle-to-grid trials and smart charging technology which lead to peak electricity demand ‘shaving’ and corresponding benefits to EV owners
  • Addressing consumer confidence about EV servicing through industry accreditation
  • Expanding EV car share projects
  • Scale-up of EV charging infrastructure in key locations

EECA is particularly looking for projects that will help to fill charging infrastructure gaps in the main highways especially down the West Coast of the South Island as identified by NZTA, and on major tourism routes such as Arthur’s Pass and Milford Sound.

 Key documents for round five

The request for proposals document, sample project funding agreement for successful applicants and response forms used in Round 5 are below:

 These will be replaced for round 6 when it opens.

Successful projects from previous funding rounds

Read about projects funded by previous rounds of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.

 Rounds one to five approved projects

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