a lot of that is simply not practical. NZ has an old fleet, it has a lot of rural users who use offroad vehicles. people simply could not afford to upgrade.
even something a simple as changing to 50mm tow ball would be horrendously expensive because 50mm are rare here. it would mean most trailers would need new hitches as well as most vehicles need new tow ball. you might as well go up to the USA sizes and be able to use their cheap mass produced trailer hitches.
you can drive 6000kg vehicle on a car license, ev or not. over 3500kg requires COF and weight is weight. ev makes no difference from a safety standpoint.
On the tow-balls, 50mm while not as common as 1 7/8th, is not rare by any means. And the cost of a new ball ($25 from supercheap auto) is hardly onerous... For Trailer couplings, many larger trailers already have duel fit couplings, but again the cost is hardly onerous ($60 for a trojan T993963 from marine deals).
Should note that while a minority, a decent chunk of the fleet is allready on 50mm. Any car with a euro style towbar, any euro caravan, most towball mount bike carriers etc.
Yes it would be a one off cost, but I think is well worth saving the ongoing cost of supporting two near identical (but incompatible) tow ball sizes. And of course the safety advantages of eliminating the risk of having a 50mm coupler fitted to a 1 7/8ths ball (if the ball is worn they can come apart).
The majority of my suggestions are free (other than the cost of the law change). Some like changing the FBT exemption so it only covers single row (single cab) utes would be revenue positive).
Some of the bigger cost ones are below:
- Change the law from allowing vehicles to emit viable smoke for no more than 10 seconds to not allow the emission of viable smoke (10 year grandfather period). - A lot of vehicles that belch smoke either need repair, or have been modified causing this situation. These vehicles can be fixed, yes this comes at a cost, but I feel it is worth it in benefits to the health of New Zealanders. Some vehicles were built such that they emit a puff of smoke on acceleration, these are unlikely to be able to be fixed, but I don't think we should be allowing smoke belching in perpetuity, hence the 10 year grandfather clause:
- Emissions sniffer test. Would add a small cost (perhaps at 3 years old, and every 2 years after that, to have the test done). Not a big deal in my mind. A small number of vehicles would fail and need to have their engines fixed (or modifications reversed), I feel the cost of this is again worth it for our air quality.
- Require immobilizer on fresh imports. Pritty much all NZ new cars get this allready, and a decent chunk of used imports. For the used imports that don't it's about a $400 retrofit. Social harm caused by the combination of criminals and easy to steal car's is high, so I feel the cost is justified.
- Cargo van bulkheads at first registration. Yes, will add a cost, but big safety gains.
- Truck side / rear underun protection. Again I think it is worth the cost.
- DRL's or allways on headlights on new car's - Most have this allready, and it is a fairly minor wiring (or software) change to add this ability in the factory, most will have it allready engineered for markets that allready require this.
On increasing the light EV limit from 3,500kg to 4,250kg. You are correct on licencing, however I want EV's up to 4250kg to be able to run on a WOF and the full speed limit.
The threshold is arbitrary anyway, and I just want to favor EV's a little, as basically without this larger electric cargo van's are going to struggle to be viable as their payload will be eaten into by the battery pack.
one of the most common trailer hitches is 2500kg inertia braked and its ~$400 to buy a new one. granted a lot of them are duals now days but many are still one size.
also why a UK size? sure their trailers are imported here but they have different setups due to their different trailer laws. i give nz trailers grief for being old tech with single piston solid disks from the 60's, but UK trailers are still using wire rope operated brakes and drums from the dark ages.
emitting smoke, frankly i don't see that as a problem. its very rare to see a vehicle puff smoke these days and its usually 30+ year old vehicles that do. getting super tight on emissions just hurts the poor people who can't afford better vehicles. your better off just making low emissions vehicles cheaper and let flow on effect replace them. specialty/custom vehicles are best left alone. spending big $$ to fix a minority is a bit pointless. need to focus on the masses, upgrade the bulk of the fleet will reduce a lot more emissions than targeting a few that puff smoke.
vechile weight, need to look at increasing the limit for all vehicles. one of the reasons for the 3500kg is so commercial vehicles come under COF.