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NZ introduces EV incentives of up to $8625

Thirst aid: Buyers of vehicles with high fuel consumption ratings in New Zealand will be charged a levy that supports subsidies for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Levy on polluting vehicles to pay for generous NZ subsidies on EVs, plug-in hybrids

14 Jun 2021

THE New Zealand government has announced incentives of up to $NZ8625 ($A7994) for new and used electrified vehicles, funded by emissions-weighted levies on certain internal combustion vehicles.


As a result, the price of entry to a new full-electric car will come close to the $NZ40,000 mark for an MG ZS EV (usually $NZ48,990 before on-road costs).


From July 1, full-electric or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles priced below $NZ80,000 and with at least a three-star safety rating according to the NZ Transport Agency’s RightCar website will be eligible for rebates.


The full $NZ8625 rebate applies to new full-electric vehicles while new PHEVs get $NZ5750.


For eligible used imports, rebates of $NZ3450 and $NZ2300 apply to electric and PHEVs respectively.


Rebates will be offered for vehicles registered between July 1 and December 31, 2021, with applications accepted until February 28, 2022 unless the rebate fund is used up earlier due to high demand.


The levies on higher-emitting internal combustion vehicles – up to a maximum of $NZ5175 for new vehicles and $NZ2875 for used imports – will commence in January next year.


As well as the MG ZS EV, eligible new cars include the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV ($NZ53,990) and Electric ($NZ59,990) while only the base model Hyundai Kona Electric ($NZ79,999) slips under the threshold.


Also eligible are the Nissan Leaf ($NZ61,990), Mazda MX-30 ($NZ74,990), Kia Niro PHEV ($NZ59,990) and EV ($NZ77,990), MG HS PHEV ($NZ52,990), Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ($NZ52,490) and Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus ($NZ69,900).


New Zealand pricing for the latest Renault Zoe has not yet been announced but Renault NZ has indicated that it will be eligible, as is the Kangoo EV van ($NZ74,990).


The Mini Countryman Hybrid ($NZ68,290) is eligible, and the Mini Electric ($NZ59,900) is likely to be too, although it is not rated for safety on the RightCar website.


Similarly, the LDV eDeliver 3 electric van ($NZ49,990) has no safety rating and its larger but no more expensive EV80 sibling gets five stars.


Motor Industry Association (MIA) CEO David Crawford said he was “delighted” that the NZ government had announced the incentive scheme and praised the introduction of an interim rebate from July 1 until the necessary legislation for a full feebate structure is implemented in 2022.


“The level of rebate offered is significant,” he said. “It will in our view address in part the lack of affordability new low emission vehicles cost compared to their internal combustion engine (IEC) equivalent models.”


However, while welcoming the ability to include the discount into fringe benefit tax (FBT) and depreciation calculations, Mr Crawford criticised the government for not giving electric vehicles the 50 per cent FBT discount the MIA has lobbied for.


In addition to the rebates, the NZ government has published an electric vehicle buyers guide document and confirmed that EV chargers are available at 75km intervals along most of the nation’s state highways.


Announcing the incentives, NZ transport minister Michael Wood claimed the clean car discount scheme would “prevent up to 9.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions”.


“A discount on electric, hybrid and low emission vehicles funded from a fee on higher emitting ones is the best policy to increase low emissions vehicle uptake in New Zealand,” he said.


“It’s a common policy overseas, a recommendation of both the Climate Commission and the Productivity Commission and is supported by the likes of the Motor Industry Association – it’s time to get moving with it.”


NZ climate change minister James Shaw added: “As technology develops and more manufacturers decide to stop making petrol and diesel cars, the cost of low emissions vehicles will come down. However, at the moment they are still more expensive to buy.


“Today’s announcement helps to address that. It will ensure more families can enjoy the benefits of low emission vehicles and their lower maintenance and running costs.”

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