Rewards for Green Transportation in New Zealand

9 minutes

New Zealand’s new government initiatives make electric vehicles and commercial fleets the most cost-effective and sustainable choice. There’s never been a better time to invest in your EV fleet and charging solutions. Keep reading to find out what the Clean Car Discount and the Clean Car Standard entail and how they could affect your finances.

New Zealand is not backing down on achieving net-zero carbon emissions

New Zealand is on an ambitious quest to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To accomplish this goal, it has recently launched two government initiatives that reward clean energy use and fine high emissions in transport.

The Clean Car Discount and the Clean Car Standard is helping promote the country’s transition to green energy transportation. It primarily targets and helps electrify light vehicles, which currently account for two-thirds of Aotearoa’s carbon emissions.

So, how does each initiative pave the way for New Zealand to invest in EVs and charging solutions? The Clean Car Discount positively influences EV demand, and the Clean Car Standard focuses on strengthening EV vehicle supply.

The Clean Car Discount scheme

The Clean Car Discount policy depends on the CO2 emissions a vehicle generates. The lower the emissions, the higher the rebates. If eligible, buyers could receive a rebate of up to $8,625 for every new EV they purchase and $5,750 for every plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) of the same value.

Used imports also apply but receive lower discounts. For example, a newly registered used import EV valued at $80,000 could be eligible for a $3,450 rebate and a PHEV for a $2,300 rebate. All these values include both GST and on-road costs.

Eligibility requirements for the Clean Car scheme

Currently, EV consumers cannot get an instant discount at their dealership. They will need to buy an eligible zero or low emissions vehicle first, register it in their name, and then apply for a rebate at the official Waka Kotahi site. It’s also crucial that vehicles meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a new and used light EVs, PHEVs, and hybrids.
  • Newly imported and registered in New Zealand starting from the 1st of July to the 31st of December 2021 or starting from 1 April 2022. The eligibility criteria varies for both time spans
  • Worth up to $80,000, including GST and on-road costs.
  • Have a safety rating of 3 stars or more on the Right car website.
  • If a vehicle contributes to cutting CO2 emissions, Waka Kotahi will transfer the rebate into the registered user’s bank account. On the other hand, high-emission fees will be due next fiscal year and paid at the time of registration.

The Clean Import Standard

To fully tackle CO2 emissions in transportation, the Clean Import Standard is working to make fuel-efficient vehicles the least attractive transport option in the market. These standards currently apply to high-emission drivers and consumers but will also target distributors and importers in the future.

Right now, high emission transport exceeding the192g/km CO2 limit could now receive fees up to $5,175 for new vehicles or $2,875 for an imported used one.

Starting from 2023, there will also be applicable fees for car distributors. For every new vehicle with average emissions of 171 g/km they bring into their fleet, distributors will have to pay a penalty of $4950. This will also affect the consumer and raise the overall price for high-emission vehicles since distributors will have to raise their prices to compensate for these high fees.

The third step to discouraging the supply of high-emission vehicles is incorporating CO2 targets for vehicle importers. From 2023 until 2027, importers will be fined whenever they fail to achieve these annual targets. In addition, Waka Kotahi will monitor CO2 accountability by asking importers to register their emissions by creating an account through their official website. Marks will be stricter for passenger cars than commercial vehicles (such as utes and vans). New Zealand’s official transport site provides more updates on this recently introduced policy.

The EV shift is critical for New Zealand

Domestic transport emissions are currently the country’s largest source of fossil carbon dioxide. CO2 emissions in transport have grown by 93% between 1990 and 2017.

Newly imported vehicles currently generate 180g CO₂/km in New Zealand, 50% higher than in Europe and the national vehicle fleet keeps increasing by 110,000 vehicles annually. The Clean Car Programme is an essential move that helps supply consumers with more affordable EV solutions, and also contributes significantly to net-zero carbon emissions.

Wallbox is proud to help Aotearoa make a swift transition to green energy transportation. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or require assistance in your quest for the best charging solution for your EV or business EV fleet. Visit our NZ website for more information.

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