Clean car package to drive down emissions

 Clean car package to drive down emissions
  • New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used.
  • Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence.
  • Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 to continue to grow the nationwide EV charging network and support other low emission refuelling networks.
  • Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide available to help guide potential buyers.
  • Govt intends to set up EV sector leadership group to help increase uptake.
  • Proposed Sustainable Biofuels Mandate to prevent over a million tonnes of emissions while Kiwis switch over to electric.

The Government is taking action in line with the advice of the Climate Change Commission to increase the uptake of low emission vehicles by introducing a range of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target and create jobs to support the economic recovery.

“Our transport emissions are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand so we need to start taking action now if we are going to meet our 2050 targets,” Transport Minister Michael Wood said.

“New Zealand is actually lagging behind on the uptake of EVs, so we are playing catch up internationally. Our monthly registrations of EVs are around half the global average and sales are well below the 50 per cent of monthly sales seen in some European countries.

“We’ve already committed to policies that will make a difference, like the Clean Car Import Standard, decarbonising the public transport bus fleet and revitalising rail, but we have to do more.

“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.

“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.

“The Clean Car Discount will make it cheaper for New Zealanders to buy electric and low emission cars. It will prevent up to 9.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and will help with the upfront cost of switching over with Kiwis getting up to $8,625 back.

“We’ve made some changes to the policy proposed last term, so only cars under $80,000 and safer models are eligible for rebates. Rebates will begin from July 1 while fees on higher emitting vehicles to help fund the scheme won’t begin until 1 January 2022. The rebates will also expand from 1 January to include low emission vehicles, not just electric and plug-in hybrids.

“Importantly the policy only applies to new and used cars arriving in New Zealand, so the existing second hand market of cars that lower income families tend to purchase from will not be affected.

“We’ve also been doing the work to ensure Kiwis have the confidence to go electric, with electric vehicle chargers now available on average every 75km along most state highways. The Government has been investing directly into charging facilities through the Low Emission Transport Fund (formally the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund).

“The Low Emission Transport Fund has already co-funded over 1,100 electric vehicle chargers nationwide, and as part of Budget 2021 we’re increasing our investment so total funding for the programme will reach up to $25 million per year by 2023/24. Other projects using low emission fuels like biofuels and hydrogen, will also now be eligible for funding.

“We’ll need to work with the sector to make sure vehicles are available and help us develop policies, which is why I intend to set up an electric vehicles sector leadership group in the coming weeks.

“Our proposed Sustainable Biofuels Mandate will help us reduce emissions from cars, trucks, ships and planes by 1.3 million tonnes until 2025 while zero emissions options are developed.

“It’ll also help us create jobs to support our economic recovery through encouraging a local industry,” Michael Wood said.

Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw said cutting emissions from transport is vital to addressing the climate crisis.

“Increasing the number of electric, hybrid and low-emission vehicles is a huge part of the work we are doing to build a low carbon Aotearoa in which people have clean, climate-friendly ways of getting around.

“In their final advice to Government, the Climate Change Commission said we need more low-carbon transport options that put our communities on the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. However we recognise that with the additional cost, a low emissions vehicle can be out of the reach of many families. This is a particular challenge for those who rely on a car to get around.

“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.

“Reducing the cost of electric, hybrid and low-emission vehicles will also stimulate the second-hand market, so in the years to come even more people can access low carbon transport options.

“I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the work of my colleague Julie Anne Genter, whose work last term as Associate Transport Minister laid the foundations that got us here today,” James Shaw said.

Consultation on the Sustainable Biofuels Mandate is open until 5pm, 26 July 2021 and submissions can be made here.

Media contacts:

Minister Wood – Tom James 027 308 6010

Minister Shaw – Danny Stevens 021 829 206

Notes to editors:

Jpg versions of the attached infographics and maps of where charging stations are on state highways can be downloaded here.

Further detail on Clean Car Discount

•                 Waka Kotahi is administering the Clean Car scheme and will issue rebates and collect fees directly with the vehicle purchaser, not vehicle dealers.

•                 Waka Kotahi will issue rebates for eligible electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles first registered on or after 1 July 2021. Vehicles ordered or bought prior to July can still receive a rebate if buyers delay registering the vehicle to 1st July.

•                 In 2022, a set of smaller rebates will be added for vehicles that cannot be plugged in, where they fit within a low CO2 emissions limit.

•                 To receive the rebate, buyers of an eligible car will be able to visit Waka Kotahi online at

•                 Owners will be asked to supply their bank account number and matching proof of vehicle ownership. 

•                 All figures quoted include GST.

•                 Vehicles with less than a three star safety rating as listed on the RightCar website are not eligible for the Clean Car Discount (

•                 Clean Car Discounts are not available for vehicles with a purchase price (including on-road costs) of $80,000 incl GST or higher.

•                 A sliding scale of Clean Car fees on high emission vehicles will apply from 1 January 2022. The fee is payable by the vehicle purchaser to Waka Kotahi when the vehicle is first registered.

•                 Each year the level of rebates and fees may be adjusted to ensure the scheme is self-funding.

•                 Vehicles which have an emissions rating in the middle of the emissions target range will not attract a fee or be eligible for a rebate.

•                 From 2022, car dealers will be required to clearly display CO2 emissions and fee/rebate information on vehicles for sale and online so buyers can make informed purchasing decisions.

•                  The Clean Car Discount supplements the Clean Car Standard which was announced in January 2021. The Standard will require vehicle suppliers to import more fuel-efficient vehicles every year, starting in 2022.

•                 Businesses will include the discount or fee when calculating Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) and depreciation for vehicles they buy. This change will make buying an electric vehicle even more attractive to businesses. 

•                 Further information can be found at:

•                 The Government has published an Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide at

Tom James |Press Secretary (he/him)

Office of Hon. Michael Wood

Minister of Transport

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

Deputy Leader of the HouseMobile: +64 27 308 6010


Authorised by Jacinda Ardern MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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