Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund

The Government's contestable fund encourages innovation and investment to accelerate uptake of electric and other low emission vehicles in New Zealand.

Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund round four now closed

The Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund round four has now closed. Proposals will be evaluated by an independent panel and successful applicants will be notified once decisions have been made.

Round five is expected to open in August 2018. The exact date and investment focus is yet to be confirmed.

Key documents from round four

Sample documents and FAQs from the round four RFP process are available for reference below.

Successful projects from previous funding rounds

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

 Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund successful projects

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 $6 million per year to co-fund, up to 50%, projects with private and public sector partners in areas where commercial returns aren’t yet strong enough 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.

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 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.

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 electric vehicles.

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

  • Support the development of the EV charging network by filling key gaps in the network
  • Facilitate the scale-up of EV technology, especially in vehicle fleets
  • Enable the demonstration and uptake of light and heavy EVs and associated technologies in sectors of the economy where EVs remain relatively unproven.


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.

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