New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is poised to switch to electric power for her ministerial car, from a BMW 7 Series diesel to an Audi e-Tron.
While the NZ government is about to take delivery of three Audi e-Trons for high-ranking politicians and VIP guests, two are expected to be based in the capital Wellington (in the far south of the North Island) – and at least one example is planned to be assigned to Auckland (650km away, in the far north) at Ms Ardern’s home alongside her personal vehicle, a Hyundai Ioniq electric car.
However, with the demise of local car manufacturing, politicians from both countries have been riding in BMW limousines, many of which are diesel-powered.
Now an electric Audi has been added to the New Zealand government fleet. Other pure electric cars are expected to be added to the government’s eligibility list.
Website motoringnz.com reports that, in the lead-up to the recent New Zealand election, Ms Ardern pledged $NZ50 million to buy electric buses, announced policies to cut transport emissions, and reaffirmed support for a Clean Car Standard – which would require importers to reduce the average emissions of vehicles arriving into the country.
It is unclear if Ms Ardern is the first political leader globally to appoint a small fleet of electric limousines as official government vehicles for senior ministers, however she is likely among the first.
Audi has been an approved Government fleet supplier in New Zealand for several years, but not at this level.
Meanwhile, the Audi e-Tron has just gone on sale in Australia however so far just two dozen examples have been reported as sold as supply is still ramping up.
It is unclear if the Audi e-Tron is on the Australian government's vehicle eligibility list.
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