The Ministry of Transport has initiated a project to help inform the Government’s strategic approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road freight in New Zealand. The project looks specifically at the role alternative fuels - electricity, green hydrogen and biofuels – could play in reducing emissions. This work fits within a wider programme of work across the Ministry to reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector.

The project is focused on heavy trucks involved in road freight because they account for nearly one quarter of all road transport GHG emissions. Road freight is vital to New Zealand’s economy and is predicted to grow substantially over the next 30 years. Reducing GHG emissions from road freight, and long-haul road freight in particular, is also seen as one of the most challenging areas for transport to decarbonise.


Green Freight Background Paper

The first phase of this work has been encapsulated in The Green Freight Background Paper [PDF, 1.1 MB]. This paper explores the challenges and opportunities of transitioning road freight to alternative fuel options. The paper reflects thinking and research from domestic and international literature, and situates this in the context of the road freight industry in New Zealand. The content of the paper does not reflect Government policy.

The paper has been developed to prompt discussion and engagement around the specific barriers to transitioning New Zealand’s heavy truck fleet to using alternative fuels. This is also an opportunity to discuss the advantages New Zealand has to capitalise on the opportunities alternative fuels might provide for New Zealand. Understanding the New Zealand context will be important to identify a clear way forward for industry and government.


How can you contribute to the discussions?

The Ministry of Transport would like to hear your views on the information provided in the Green Freight Background Paper. A series of questions have been posed throughout the paper around each of the fuel options. These are examples of the questions we want to answer throughout the next stage of our engagement.

We are particularly interested in your experiences, and insights, around the challenges and opportunities identified. Does the paper highlight new information or raise questions that you haven’t considered before? Does it challenge your current thinking or reinforce what you already knew? Or do the ideas presented run contrary to your experience or understanding.

A link to a survey containing all of the questions in the paper can be found here(external link). We would greatly appreciate any insights you might have that can contribute to answering these questions. In addition, if you have other questions, or have additional thoughts and ideas you would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at

Thank-you for taking the time to read the paper. We look forward to discussing this topic with you further.