NZ Govt to pay for discounts on cleaner cars

Marco Green
July 11, 2019

"These policies are about making cleaner vehicles a realistic option for more New Zealand households and businesses".

Ms Genter said that even if brands had a more environment-friendly vehicle, they were less likely to bring it to New Zealand "because we have no standards and because we have no incentives".

"Our view is that the best policies to achieve a reduction in emissions are those that influence purchasing decisions".

By comparison, the government's proposed discount scheme for clean cars was "the most powerful policy available to this Government to influence vehicle purchase decisions".

The level of the discount depends on the total net emissions of the vehicle.

"We need to follow in the footsteps of many of our European counterparts by putting a time limit on petrol and diesel vehicles, and committing to phasing out imports by 2030", she says. The transport sector's emissions grew about 83-percent between 1990 and 2017.

A spokesperson for associate transport minister Julie Anne Genter said: "The discounts reduce over time to allow for the expected uptake of low-emission vehicles".

Motorists are tentatively welcoming the government's plans to make electric vehicles more affordable - while cranking up the costs for pricey gas guzzlers coming into the country. Vehicles bought under the clean auto standard could deliver average life-time fuel savings of $6,800 - or $3.4 billion nationally - officials estimate. They haven't calculated a combined benefit across the two policies.

It would mean about $8000 off the price of new or near-new imported electric vehicles (EVs).

The Motor Industry Association's chief executive David Crawford said the Government's moves were sensible.

The discounts on offer would reduce over time as more people buy lower-polluting cars.

The standard will involve a set of emission targets which will require vehicle importers to bring in cleaner cars, both new and used.

Larsson says that for the bulk of our cars to be electric by 2050 to meet these obligations, almost all vehicles entering the fleet would need to be EVs by the early 2030s.

Ms Genter said New Zealanders would also save thousands of dollars because of lower transport costs over their lifetime. The ministry says the 105 gram target is not as strict as those set for Europe or Canada, or now applying in Japan. Australia recently investigated 105 grams as a target there. Cars like Hyundai's Loniq battery electric vehicle (BEV) are poised to become more common.

In the draft law, a sum of 3,000 New Zealand dollars (around 1,770 euros) is mentioned by which imported vehicles with high Carbon dioxide emissions are to become more expensive. Discounts of up to $2,600, and fees of up to $1,500, would apply for older imports.

Under the worked examples provided, in 2021 a buyer of a new Land Cruiser may have to pay an extra $3,000. "Under this policy, the hybrid version would be cheaper than the petrol version". The discounts and fees would be displayed on vehicles available for sale.

"Only a few, largely high-income, motorists will benefit from this subsidy, while many more low income motorists will have to choose between a nasty penalty or delaying the purchase of a new vehicle".

"All households will ultimately have the ability to avoid paying a fee by selecting a low emitting vehicle model".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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