Please note that is blog post is a slightly adapted cross-post from Inframanage.com.
More car enthusiasts in New Zealand will soon be driving the latest Tesla Model 3. The American electric car company has announced the car model’s availability in additional countries, including New Zealand in 2017.
With USD $35,000 as the starting price, the Tesla Model 3 looks like it could be a good choice for my next car, which I planned to replace in a couple of years.
The Tesla Model 3 can carry five adults and is advertised as being able to cover 215 miles (346 kilometers) per charge. A very good car to consider if you want to have remarkable savings on petrol cost and other related expenses plus the impact on environment.
While the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) like Tesla Model 3 presents significant advantages, a possible issue will also emerge as seen from an infrastructure management point of view.
As probably most of you know, New Zealand allocates 1 percent of GDP for transport infrastructure every year. Half of the New Zealand National Land Transport Fund is derived from petrol tax funds.
In the years to come, as more fuel-efficient and/or electric vehicles use our road network, the decrease of funds from fuel tax will be unavoidable. The popularity of Tesla Model 3 and similar EVs in 2017 and beyond would seemingly hasten this potential funds decrease issue.
The good thing is, New Zealand had already examined the possible impacts of these changes in many research reports. These include the Future Funding Summary Report supplemented with a review of international transportation planning and funding frameworks.
New Zealand has already instituted an alternative road use taxation system, the distance travelled based Road User fee that is implemented currently. Having alternatives to volumetric fuel tax will enable our authorities to transition well into a new transportation network revenue and funding system when required.
According to the International Review, countries with federal structures like the USA and Germany will find it harder to change their funding mechanisms.
As more alternative fueled vehicles, including EVs are added in OECD transportation fleets, infrastructure asset managers should not neglect pointing out the implications in the infrastructure management analysis.
On the one hand, changes in generating tax revenue and funding take time and a lot of public consultation and political deliberation, especially in federal countries.
On the other hand, failure to cope with the funding demands of developments in transportation networks also has long-term effects.
Transportation asset managers should consider the need to be involved in the evaluation and discussion around transport network funding and the possible effect on funding that changes and innovation in the motor vehicle industry may bring.