Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nick Smith gives trolley buses free run?

Government genius Nick Smith has been reported in the NZ Herald saying the government planned to waive road user charges on electric vehicles.

Odd that, given that road user charges are set to recover the costs of road maintenance from vehicles that don't pay petrol tax. Electric vehicles aren't weightless.

However, Smith may learn that opening his mouth before he understands something can cost. You see there have been electric vehicles paying road user charges for years - Wellington's trolley bus fleet being the notable ones. Not many indeed, but these are heavy vehicles that do tear up Wellington streets, and not charging them for doing so (but charging diesel buses) would make Wellington Bus and its owner, Infratil, rather happy.

So Nick, giving trolley buses a free ride on the roads too now? How many more electric cars will be encouraged because they wont be paying 4.5c/km?

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