While emissions intensity has remained stable, CO₂ emissions of energy demand of the transport sector have been increasing by 17% between 2014 and 2019.
In 2019, the sector was 100% fuelled by fossil fuels, such as petroleum and diesel.
The 1.5°C scenarios show that electricity, hydrogen and biofuels can play a part in decarbonising the sector energy mix. The transport sector can reach full decarbonisation by 2060, following the low energy demand scenario. Hydrogen made from renewables could represent 16% of the transport energy mix by 2030 and up to 76% by 2050. Biofuels could represent up to 8% as early as 2030. These fuels are particularly relevant for long distance or heavy transport for example aircrafts, shipping and long-haul land transport.
However, the pathways here underestimate the potential of electric vehicles which can replace fossil fuel cars and trains, and will likely be the more economical option.
New Zealand has a target for government fleet vehicles to be emissions free by mid-2025 “where practicable.” They also targeted for 64,000 EVs registered in New Zealand by the end of 2021, supported by an EV subsidy scheme “Clean Car Discount” which was in force between July 2021 to March 2022. The Ministry of Transport sought consultation in 2021 on a draft policy investigating several decarbonisation pathways for the transport section including the phasing out of internal combustion engines (ICE) imports by 2035. New Zealand does not have CO₂ emissions standards for cars, but standards are under consideration by the country’s parliament.