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Plan to optimise and reduce fleet emissions

Reducing transport emissions is crucial to meeting New Zealand’s climate targets and is one of the initial priority areas of the Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP).

Mandated agencies should optimise their fleet to reduce the number of vehicles, and choose a battery electric vehicle (BEV), or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) wherever possible, when replacing vehicles in their light vehicle fleets.

Minimum requirements for your plan

To help agencies achieve the Government’s goals for reduced fleet emissions through optimisation and transition to electric vehicles (EVs), you are required to prepare a fleet optimisation and transition plan.

You should update this plan annually so we can provide progress reports to CNGP Ministers and make sure your agency has a clear pathway to a successful transition.

This guide outlines what to include, as a minimum, in your agency’s plan.

What to include in your plan

All plans should outline your agency’s intentions for its fleet, including:

  • a detailed explanation of your optimisation strategy
  • a completed data collection form
  • any changes to your previous plan and why you’ve made them
  • any ongoing issues impacting your ability to transition your fleet
  • what you’re doing to address these issues, including what advice you’ve sought and received
  • a list of approved exemptions and summary of the rationale used
  • sign off from your chief executive on both your plan and data collection form.

You don’t need to provide a cost to transition unless it’s considered a major barrier. If it is, explain, give a cost analysis by financial year, and a plan to overcome this issue. Remember, light vehicles are vehicles that weigh 3,500kg or less excluding motorbikes, mopeds, trailers, and watercrafts.

Detailed explanation of strategy

Your optimisation strategy should explain:

  • whether you intend to conduct an optimisation study and usage profile for your fleet.
  • the results of any optimisation studies you’ve already done, and how they’ve been implemented. For example, telematics/GPS or usage studies and any changes you’ve made as a result.
  • additional measures you’re using to optimise your fleet. For example, car-sharing, short-term rental cars, and fleet rotation.

Data collection form

In the data collection form, indicate the projected size of your vehicle fleet by quarter. Include:

  • fleet numbers
  • number of vehicles to be disposed of
  • number of vehicles to be purchased
  • engine type
  • vehicle body style.

If your fleet consists of or includes leased vehicles, please provide information on leased vehicles separately as indicated in the form.

Please email your fleet optimisation and transition plan and data collection form to the New Zealand Government Procurement Policy team. The latest round was due on 3 October 2023.

The following resources are also available to assist you with your plan:

If you require further assistance or advice, please email the Motor vehicles team or the NZGP Policy team.

Exemption to procure a petrol or diesel vehicle for government fleets

Any application for an exemption must be accompanied by a well-tested justification and should undergo an approval process from your chief executive.

Cost should not be considered grounds for exemption unless an agency can demonstrate that the total cost of owning or leasing an electric vehicle (EV) is greater than a petrol or diesel vehicle and that it would impact the agency’s ability to undertake its core functions.

Approval from your chief executive

You must get approval from your chief executive for an exemption to buy or lease a petrol or diesel vehicle from the AoG motor vehicles panel, instead of a BEV or PHEV in accordance with the electric vehicles first policy.

Chief executives should apply the reasoning set out below when making their decision whether to approve an exemption from the electric vehicles first policy.

The sign off from your chief executive must present, at a minimum:

  • an explanation for why buying or leasing an electric vehicle(s) will significantly compromise or prevent your agency from undertaking a core agency function;
  • documentation of the rationale including proof that all possible EV options have been exhausted before considering an exemption to buy or lease a petrol or diesel vehicle;
  • a plan and timeframe for resolving this operational limitation;
  • the total number of petrol or diesel vehicles that will be purchased or leased within the scope of the exemption, and the time period for completion of the purchase or lease.

Exemptions to the electric vehicles first policy will be rare and likely to be limited to situations where vehicles are subject to unusual or very specific operations and after considering all EV options.

Granting an exemption is limited to the purchase or lease of specific vehicles on specific occasions. Over time, EV technology and vehicle choice are expected to improve further, so that the need for exemptions will diminish.

Examples may be emergency response vehicles where the appropriateness of an EV has been trialled and/or analysed and results clearly indicate that an EV would not be sufficient.

When it has been determined that an exemption to buy or lease a petrol or diesel vehicle is justified, the emissions for that vehicle should be at least 20% below the emissions profile of the vehicle it is replacing.

Carbon Neutral Government Programme logo

Thank you for your commitment to achieving the aims of the Carbon Neutral Government Programme.