Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport, has ordered a review of the Clean Car Standard to ensure low-emissions vehicles continue to enter the New Zealand market without putting importers under pressure.
The minister confirmed the review would take place sooner than expected to local news outlet AutoTalk, news that was welcomed by the Motor Industry Association (MIA) and Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA). He also chose to refer to the scheme as the ‘clean car importer standard’.
“I have directed officials to begin a comprehensive review of the clean car importer standard,” he said.
“The government is supportive of the clean car importer standard to ensure that New Zealand continues to receive the supply of low and zero-emission vehicles being manufactured globally.”
The Clean Car Standard was introduced in January 2023 to regulate the types of vehicles brought into the country by importers for their sale, whether new or used, with credit being awarded to cars with a low CO2 emission value, while those with high emission values receive a charge.
However, multiple figures in the local automotive industry have raised concerns about the scheme because of its tight emissions targets which are set to get even more strict in the coming years.
The emissions targets are set to get so low in fact, that they’ll drop below those set by the European Union (EU) for light commercial vehicles by 2025 and for passenger cars by 2027.
“The review will be aimed at ensuring that the clean car importer standard reflects international market standards,” Brown told AutoTalk.
In addition, the Transport Minister said that vehicles made for disabled people will become exempt from the standard.