In May 2016, the Kiwi government introduced its Electric Vehicles Programme, aiming to reach 64,000 EVs by 2021. But despite the gradual and steady increase in electric vehicle registrations since then, the target wasn’t met – according to the Ministry of Transport, there are now 27,436 EVs on the country’s roads.

To boost the adoption of electric and low emission vehicles, the government announced yesterday its Clean Car Discount package, which offers significant subsidies to prospective EV owners.

Specifically, New Zealanders buying an imported new EV will receive a rebate of $6,166, and those buying an imported second-hand EV will get a rebate of $2,466.

The subsidy will be lower for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). New PHEV buyers will be eligible for $4,110, and used hybrids will qualify for $1,644.

The government of New Zealand is offering subsidies for electric vehicles
Credit: NZ Transport Agency
The rebates offered by the government
The government of New Zealand is offering subsidies for electric vehicles

The government notes that the Clean Car Discount will prevent up to 9.2 million tones of CO2 emissions, while it will help New Zealand reach its 2050 carbon neutral goal.

“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.”

The scheme will be funded through the fees imposed on higher emitting internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, and will start in January 2022. New ICE imports will be taxed up to $3,699, and second-hand ICE imports up to $2,055.

New Zealand introduces rebates for EVs and fees for ICEs
Credit: NZ Transport Agency
Overview of New Zealand’s Clean Car Programme
New Zealand introduces rebates for EVs and fees for ICEs

Vehicles with 147-191 CO2 emissions ppmv/km will fall under the category of “zero band” and will receive neither a rebate nor a fee. You can check out below in which group New Zealand’s top-selling vehicle brands belong.

New Zealand introduces vehicle rebates and fees
Credit: NZ Transport Agency
How New Zealand’s top-selling brands will be affected
New Zealand introduces vehicle rebates and fees

From July 1 to December 31 2021, Kiwis can apply for the EV rebates, and the subsidies will be offered until the funds are exhausted.


Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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