Clean Car Bill crosses finish line

Transport Minister Michael Wood says New Zealanders will have greater access to cheaper electric and climate-friendly cars with the passing of the Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment legislation today.

"Climate change is a challenge we cannot postpone and we are proud to support New Zealanders to play their part in keeping our country clean and green,” Michael Wood said.

“We’ve made a good start on supporting New Zealanders to move to an electric or hybrid vehicle, with the Clean Car Discount driving electric car registrations beyond projections to over 10,000 since July 2021, more than the total number ever registered under the entirety of the last government. Over 8,000 were eligible for the discount.

“This legislation takes us further by expanding the discount to include new and used imported hybrids and other low emission vehicles from 1 April 2022, expected to prevent a further five million tonnes of emissions.

“The passing of the Clean Vehicles legislation delivers on our 2020 election commitment to introduce a Clean Car Import Standard, which offers Kiwis greater access to low and zero emissions vehicles. These cars are not only cleaner but are much cheaper to run over their lifetimes, with a full charge costing the equivalent of buying petrol at around 40 cents per litre.

“Public EV charging has also become much more accessible, with charging stations available, on average, every 75 kilometres across over 97 per cent of our state highway network, and hundreds more chargers in the process of being installed.

“The new passenger vehicle segment has already achieved the Standard’s 2023 target, a year ahead of schedule. With the rest of the world moving to phase out petrol vehicles, we have kept our ambitious targets to stop us becoming a dumping ground for the world’s dirtiest cars. I want to thank the industry for their constructive engagement which has led to a number of tweaks to improve the legislation, and we welcome the support from Tesla, Toyota, Suzuki, among others,” Michael Wood said.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said the huge uptake of electric vehicles since the introduction of the Clean Car Discount demonstrated New Zealanders’ desire to be part of the solution to the climate crisis. 

“The passing of the Clean Vehicles legislation means it will be easier and more affordable for families to access clean, green ways of getting around – adding to the measures we’ve already taken and the uptake we’ve already seen. 

“Today’s announcement is rooted in the great work Julie Anne Genter put in last term and is an encouraging sign of what’s to come. There will be many more opportunities to decarbonise the transport sector and stave off the climate crisis.

“In a few months’ time the Government will release New Zealand’s first Emissions Reduction Plan, which will set out precisely how we are going to drive down emissions across every sector of the economy,” James Shaw said.