Drive Electric, a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for the uptake of EVs in New Zealand, has submitted a letter to newly appointed Transport Minister Simeon Brown calling for an alternative way to phase out the Clean Car Discount scheme.
In September, the electric mobility lobbyist released its ‘State of the Nation Report’ which shows the scheme has helped increase the number of EVs on our roads by 70 per cent in 2023 alone.
However, electric cars still only make up 2 per cent of the country’s overall vehicle fleet and if the Clean Car Discount scheme is removed, Drive Electric says this will “dramatically disrupt” EV sales by tens of thousands of cars.
Not only will this lead to higher transport emissions, but also hundreds of millions more spent on importing oil for petrol and diesel vehicles.
Drive Electric proposes that the Clean Car Discount should be phased out over time through an “alternative fiscally neutral scheme”.
It recommends the new coalition Government implement a “staged withdrawal” of discounts to give car buyers time to adjust, reduce rebate amounts and tighten eligibility, as well as exempt certain types of vehicles from fees like utes.
“We ask you to sit down with industry, before ending the Clean Car Discount, and let’s come up with something better,” says Kirsten Corson, Incoming Board Chair of Drive Electric.
“The faster we get people into EVs the faster we end dependence on imported petrol and diesel, saving the economy and households billions of dollars every year.”
However, it may already be too late as Prime Minister Christopher Luxon confirmed the end of the Clean Car Discount is near at his first post-cabinet press conference on Wednesday.
The scheme is set to end by 31 December 2023 while speed limits on state highways will also be revisited within the first 100 days of the new coalition government being installed.