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NZ government announces support for electric vehicles

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AGL Energy
06 May 2016

The New Zealand Government has announced a package of measures to support the uptake of electric vehicles, including:

  • A target of doubling the number of electric vehicles in New Zealand every year to reach approximately 64,000 by 2021
  • Extending the Road User Charges exemption on light electric vehicles until they make up two percent of the light vehicle fleet
  • A new Road User Charges exemption for heavy electric vehicles until they make up two percent of the heavy vehicle fleet
  • Work across Government and private sector to investigate the bulk purchase of electric vehicles
  • Government agencies coordinating activities to support the development and roll-out of public charging infrastructure including providing information and guidance
  • $1 million annually for a nation-wide electric vehicle information and promotion campaign over five years
  • A contestable fund of up to $6 million per year to encourage and support innovative low emission vehicle projects
  • Allowing electric vehicles in bus lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the State Highway network and local roads
  • Review of tax depreciation rates and the method for calculating fringe benefit tax to ensure electric vehicles are not being unfairly disadvantaged
  • Establishing an electric vehicles leadership group across business, local and central government.

The package seeks to realise the many benefits of electric vehicles and remove barriers including the limited selection of models available, a lack of widespread public charging infrastructure, and lack of awareness about electric vehicles. Further information can be found here.

In our recent submission to the Australian Government's discussion paper on vehicle emissions AGL highlighted that electric vehicles can play a key role in helping Australia to meet its climate change and energy productivity targets, and outlined policies that may facilitate greater EV uptake in Australia - which are similar to these initiatives announced for New Zealand.  Specifically, AGL supports Australia developing a National EV Roadmap, including an optimal EV target, the inclusion of EVs in government vehicle fleets, exemptions from fringe benefit tax for EVs (to reduce the cost differential for EV leasing relative to conventional vehicles), and a national strategy for EV charging infrastructure.