From July 1, car buyers will have a new incentive to buy a cleaner, safer car. Anyone purchasing an EV or plug-in hybrid EV will be able to claim rebates of up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. The discount applies to cars with a star safety rating of at least three, and cost under $80,000.

It was announced by Minister of Transport Michael Wood, who said:

"The Climate Change Commission's final advice has shown how important it is we decarbonise transport given it's currently the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand.

"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."

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EECA research1 shows that consideration of EVs has never been higher, with 43% of kiwis reporting they'd consider going electric with their next vehicle, compared to just 22% when research began in 2016.

Marcos Pelenur, EECA GM Stratgey, Insights and Regulations, said "Cost has always been one of the barriers to wider EV uptake, so we expect the discount will lower that hurdle for a number of people, accelerate EV uptake and start to bring down transport emissions."

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

Get full details of the Clean Car Discount at nzta.govt.nz/cleancar(external link)

1EECA/TRA Consumer Monitor Jan-Mar 2021

Cost has always been one of the barriers to wider EV uptake, so we expect the discount will lower that hurdle for a number of people.

Marcos Pelenur, GM Stratgey, Insights and Regulations, EECA

What you need to know

  • To receive the rebate, buyers of an eligible car will be able to visit nzta.govt.nz/cleancar(external link) and supply their bank account number and matching proof of vehicle ownership. 
  • Waka Kotahi will issue rebates for eligible EV and 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.
  • Vehicles with less than a three star safety rating as listed on RightCar(external link) 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and depreciation for vehicles they buy. This change will make buying an electric vehicle even more attractive to businesses.

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