Transport publications and resources

Research papers and presentations covering biofuels, electric vehicles and efficient driving. Documents are ordered by publication date, with the most recent listed first.

Electric vehicles

Electric Vehicle Charging Technology – a New Zealand Residential Perspective

October 2019

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) commissioned KPMG to undertake research on electric vehicle smart charging technology for use in homes. The research finds that electric vehicle smart charging technology has benefits for owners, and will reduce future load on New Zealand’s energy system, if we take advantage of it now.

 Link to media release

Dealer's Guide to Electric Vehicles

A guide to EVs for the automotive industry. It gives an overview of electric cars, batteries and charging plus information for dealers, such as what to include in ads, how to help customers choose the right EV and answers to common queries.

Buyer’s Guide to Electric Vehicles

A consumer’s introduction to EVs. Find out how to choose the right EV for your needs, assess battery health, maximise range and charge easily and safely. An FAQ section covers other common questions.

Download: Buyer's Guide to Electric Vehicles

Driving a Low Emissions Economy: How local authorities can support and promote electric vehicles

This guide aims to help local authorities reduce emissions by making their
communities more friendly to electric vehicles (EVs).

It summarises the environmental, social and economic case for EVs, provides
advice on operational and long-term planning, and outlines practical steps
councils can take to help New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy.

Electric vehicle battery report

Prepared for EECA by Verdant Vision

EECA commissioned this independent report into electric vehicle batteries. This report is by Verdant Vision,  an Australia-based electric vehicle consultancy, which also co-authored the EV lifecycle analysis.

The research, and a guide based on it, will give owners valuable information about their vehicle’s battery. It will also give confidence and be a useful resource for people considering buying an electric vehicle.

Life cycle assessment of electric vehicles

Prepared for EECA by Verdant Vision

November 2015

In 2015 EECA commissioned a lifecycle analysis of the environmental impact of electric vehicles (EVs) compared to internal combustion engine vehicles (petrol and diesel). The report confirmed that EVs are better for the New Zealand environment than petrol or diesel powered vehicles, across the lifecycle of the vehicle as well as in use.

Inductive power transfer: the future of electric vehicles

Presentation by Will Charles, Uniservices

June 2012

Presentation given by Will Charles at the APEC EV Workshop 2012. Inductive-power-transfer is a method of efficiently transferring electrical power without wires over relatively large distances. The presentation looks at developments since the 1990s and potential for electric vehicles.

Global outlook of electric vehicle development and their infrastructure

Presentation by Professor C.C. Chan

June 2012

Presentation given by Professor CC Chan at the APEC EV Workshop 2012.

Draft report overview: Stock‐take of electric vehicle interface with electricity and smart grids across APEC economies with the potential for harmonization

Presentation by Verdant Vision Pty Ltd.

June 2012

Part one of a series of presentations given at the APEC EV Workshop 2012 by Verdant Vision providing and overview and stocktake of EV connectivity across APEC economies.

Potential barriers for international trade of PEVs and opportunities for APEC cooperation and resolution

Presentation by Verdant Vision Pty Ltd.

June 2012

Part two of a series of presentations given at the APEC EV Workshop 2012 by Verdant Vision.

Interactive workshop: APEC electric vehicle connectivity conditions

Presentation by Verdant Vision Pty Ltd.

June 2012

Part three of a series of presentations given at the APEC EV Workshop 2012 by Verdant Vision.

APEC electric vehicle connectivity workshop - summary session

Presentation by Verdant Vision Pty Ltd.

June 2012

Part four, the final instalment of a series of presentations given at the APEC EV Workshop 2012 by Verdant Vision.

Deploying electric vehicles in New Zealand: a guide to the regulatory and market environment

February 2012

Electric vehicles (EVs) are an emerging form of transport worldwide which could help New Zealanders meet their private transport needs while reducing their climate change impact. EECA is assisting the introduction of EVs into the New Zealand market, by working to overcome barriers such as uncertainty and inconsistency around Standards. As EV technologies are advancing quickly, consideration of charging infrastructure becomes more urgent. This guidance document has been produced by EECA in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), and the Ministry of Transport (MOT). It aims to help EV manufacturers and importers by providing with accurate information about the existing regulatory and market conditions. The primary aim is to help manufacturers and importers come to safe solutions for electric vehicle charging. We expect the guide will also be useful for tradespeople such as electricians who may undertake EV-related work.

Electric car trial initial report

Prepared for EECA by Synovate Ltd

December 2011

In 2010, the Wellington City Council in conjunction with Meridian Energy, Mitsubishi Motors, The Wellington Company and The NZ Post Group began a two year trial of electric vehicles (Mitsubishi iMiEVs). This report is based on feedback and survey data collected from the various participants and users of these vehicles. The electric vehicles are generally highly rated across the various organisations that were surveyed however each group of respondents have various issues to weigh up when offering an overall evaluation.


Working with biodiesel blends - a guide for the motor trade, repair and transport industries

July 2017

Biofuels have been produced and used for over 20 years in many European countries,
the United States, South America, parts of Asia and Australia. However, they are
relatively new for New Zealand motorists. EECA has produced this guide on biodiesel and biodiesel blends for those who sell, service or manage diesel-powered vehicles. It is designed to help them understand biodiesel blends, how to avoid problems, and what to tell drivers or clients.

Engine use of biodiesel in the marine sector

Prepared by Fuel Technology Ltd

September 2011

The aim of this report is to equip potential marine engine users with the science they need to make decisions regarding the suitability of fuelling their diesel engine on biodiesel or biodiesel blends. This report is intended to inform the marine diesel engine operator of the risks associated with switching and the steps that a prudent operator will take to manage them.

Peer review of Acceptance of the use of biodiesel fuels in vehicle and engine applications in New Zealand

Peer review by Steve Goldthorpe, Energy Systems Analyst

September 2010

This is a peer review by Steve Goldthorpe, Energy Systems Analyst of Andrew Campbell’s report: "Acceptance of the Use of Biodiesel Fuels in Vehicle and Engine Applications in New Zealand’. In summary, the reviewer generally concurred with the findings of the report.

Acceptance of the use of biodiesel fuels in vehicle and engine applications in New Zealand

Prepared for EECA by Andrew Campbell, Fuel Technology Ltd

September 2010

This report was commissioned by EECA to better understand the compatibility of biodiesel and biodiesel blends for use in engines and to identify which engines and vehicles were deemed by the original engine manufacturers to be compatible with the use of blends with higher biodiesel content. This report collates the various responses from the engine manufacturers, using the supporting information to attempt to explain the various positions taken.

Peer review of URS GHG lifecycle analysis of bioethanol from whey

Prepared for EECA by E4tech

December 2009

EECA has commissioned E4tech, a European sustainable energy consultancy, to carry out a peer review of work undertaken by URS New Zealand to assess the lifecycle GHG emissions arising from the production of bioethanol from whey. This report presents the findings of that peer review.

Greenhouse gas LCA of ethanol from whey

Prepared for EECA by URS New Zealand Ltd

November 2009

URS was commissioned by EECA to assist with calculating a life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of ethanol from whey produced by Fonterra Co-operative Ltd.

Life cycle greenhouse gas emission model for New Zealand biodiesels

Prepared for EECA by URS New Zealand Ltd

November 2009

EECA commissioned URS to develop models to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the production of tallow, rapeseed and used cooking oil biodiesel. This report provides the GHG inventory models for each biodiesel source and associated information including recommended default values and emission factors.

Food prices and biofuels

Prepared for EECA and MAF by Nimmo-Bell & Company Limited

June 2009

In 2008, EECA together with Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Policy sought an international review of literature to better understand the causes of rising food prices and their linkage (if any) to biofuels production. Since then, some of the key drivers of food prices have reversed direction leading to a rapid decline in commodity prices during the latter part of 2008. This report reviews new international literature with the aim to understand what factors have driven food prices back down, and comment on what role (if any) biofuels have had.

Working with bioethanol-blended petrol

May 2009

Using sustainable biofuels in our vehicles is one simple step New Zealanders can take in working towards sustainability. This guide has been developed especially for the motor trade and anyone who sells or services vehicles to help answer the questions you and your customers may have about bioethanol-blended petrol.

Moving to high biofuel blends – the Brazilian experience

Presentation by Volkswagon at the EECA Biofuels Conference 2009

March 2009

This presentation by H Joseph Jr. (Product Development) to the EECA Biofuels Conference 2009 held in Wellington provides an overview of biofuels developments in Brazil- focusing primarily on ethanol.

Rising food prices and biofuels

Prepared for EECA and MAF by Nimmo-Bell & Company Limited

September 2008

EECA and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Policy sought an international review of literature to better understand the causes of rising food prices and their linkage (if any) to biofuels production. This review aims to inform the New Zealand debate on the impact of first generation biofuels on food prices.

Cost effective sustainable fuels for performance vehicles

Prepared by Kevin Dwyer, MotorSport New Zealand

August 2008

Ethanol, as a fuel, has many favourable attributes when considering it for use in general everyday motoring as well as high performance race applications. Its status as a sustainable fuel when sourced from waste or by-product biomass, combined with good combustion, thermal and anti-knock properties, along with a tendency to reduce CO2 emissions has prompted this investigation into the advantages of petrol-ethanol blends compared to conventional motorsport fuels for use in race vehicles. This investigation compares three petrol-ethanol blends with three other fuels common to motorsports. Fuel performance was evaluated on cost, consumption, performance, and emissions.

EECA peer review for canola life cycle assessment

Prepared for EECA by Sinclair Knight Merz Limited (SKM)

July 2008

EECA engaged Sinclair Knight Merz Limited (SKM) to review a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of rapeseed biodiesel undertaken by CRL Energy Limited (CRL) for Solid Energy New Zealand Limited. This report sets out the results of the review including comments on the methodology

The sustainability of Brazilian sugarcane bioethanol – a literature review

Prepared for EECA by AgriLINK NZ

May 2008

This report, commissioned by EECA, reports on an international literature review conducted by the authors into the sustainability of Brazilian produced bioethanol using sugarcane as the feedstock. While sustainability criteria are generally poorly defined this report has taken a broad definition to include greenhouse gas emissions and the biofuels total life cycle energy balance, production parameters (fertiliser, water, agrichemical use), biodiversity, air and water pollution, soil erosion, economic impacts, food versus fuel and social impacts on the community, jobs, wages, working conditions and worker rights. It has not taken into account the impacts of land use changes on the GHG emissions. Very little information is available in this area and what has been published is conflicting and based on limited data and a large number of assumptions.

Consumer information on biofuel sustainability

Prepared by Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM)

February 2008

A report on options for informing consumers on the sustainability of biofuels likely to be sold in New Zealand post the New Zealand government announcing the introduction of a Biofuels Sales Obligation as part of a broader policy agenda covering climate change, energy and sustainability.

Understanding the motivators and barriers to using biofuel blends

Prepared by The Nielsen Company

February 2008

EECA commissioned research into consumer attitudes towards biofuels, so that we can understand what people know about them, and if there are any perceived issues around the uptake of biofuels. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used to compile the results.

Primary energy and net greenhouse gas emissions from biodiesel made from New Zealand tallow

Prepared for EECA by AgriLINK New Zealand Limited and CRL Energy Ltd

February 2007

This study, commissioned by EECA, provides a life cycle assessment of one of the more attractive biofuel options for New Zealand, namely biodiesel derived from domestically produced tallow.

Assessment of bus exhaust emissions from tallow methyl ester biodiesel blends

Prepared for EECA, Auckland Regional Council and BP Oil NZ Ltd by The University of Auckland

May 2006

This report documents findings of research on two in-service buses fuelled with tallow methyl ester (TME) biodiesel blends of 20% (B20) and 40% (B40) TME in 50ppm sulphur automotive diesel fuel (ADF) referred to as the 50ppm fuel. The same batch of 50ppm fuel was used as the reference fuel for the experiments. 

Biodiesel from tallow

Prepared for EECA by Barry Judd

November 2002

This report reviews work done previously in New Zealand and the current status of biodiesel fuels. It places recent developments elsewhere into a New Zealand context with particular regard to raw material resources, production costs, and the current environmental position.

Efficient driving

Eco-driving scoping study

Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ) Report prepared for the AA Research Foundation and EECA

June 2011

The AA Research Foundation and EECA commissioned Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ) to undertake a scoping study to explore the potential of eco-driver training as a means to improve fuel efficiency in New Zealand. During this research information on eco-driving was collected through a literature review, collation of New Zealand driver and vehicle demographic data, and a survey of AA members to determine their views on eco-driving.

Fleet fuel efficiency: a win-win opportunity

Peter Baas, TERNZ


This paper summarizes the findings of New Zealand-based research carried out during 2008 on overcoming the barriers to transport fleets adopting fuel saving measures. This research included: a review of overseas best practice; a fuel efficiency trial involving car, bus and truck fleets; surveys of industry awareness and an analysis of the barriers to adopting fuel saving measures.


Powering public transport in New Zealand - opportunities for alternative technologies

Prepared for EECA by MRCagney Pty Ltd

October 2012

New Zealand's cities and towns rely primarily on diesel buses for meeting their public transport needs. EECA commissioned MRCagney to consider whether there are opportunities for greater uptake of PT technologies in New Zealand that are more energy efficient and/or utilise renewable sources of energy. It considers a range of technologies, including but not limited to conventional diesel, natural gas, biogas, biodiesel, hybrid buses, electric buses, as well as trolley buses and trams. Technologies are assessed for their suitability to cities of Christchurch’s size, both on a system-wide level and within individual corridors.

Comparison of low rolling resistance tyres with standard tyres on New Zealand roads

Prepared for EECA by Opus International Consultants Limited

August 2012

New Zealand road surfaces can differ from the typical road surfaces used for testing tyres overseas. EECA commissioned an on-road testing programme to investigate if low rolling resistance tyres could offer fuel saving benefits on New Zealand road surfaces.

Sound evidence of change in engine performance due to the use of a device or fuel additive

Prepared by Andrew Campbell, Fuel Technology Ltd

June 2005

This report is intended to provide guidance to those wishing to test engines or vehicles for fuel economy, in a manner which should provide sound evidence of any performance changes being achieved.