The Government’s Feebate scheme

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 14th, 2021 - 70 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, greens, labour, michael wood, national, science, transport - Tags:

Part of the difficult delicate job of becoming carbon neutral is the need to fundamentally transform the country’s car fleet from gas guzzlers to clean electric vehicles in a fairly quick time.

For a while Labour and the Greens have wanted to install a feebate scheme, where the purchase of electric vehicles incentivised and the purchase of gas guzzlers is not incentivised.

The policy was announced in July 2019 but last February New Zealand First vetoed it.

From Thomas Coughlan at Stuff:

The Government’s headline policy to cut the price of electric vehicles by up to $8000 has stalled in first gear after NZ First ministers halted it.

The policy had two parts: a Clean Car Discount, or “feebate” which would subsidise the cost of cleaner vehicles by making polluting vehicles cost more and a Clean Car Standard, which was designed to encourage importers to import cars with better emissions standards.

Green co-leader James Shaw said if NZ First ultimately decided to block the policy, his party would take it to the election.

That now looks likely.

It is understood this measure was weighed up by the NZ First caucus and it decided such a policy needed to go to the electorate.

It is understood this measure was weighed up by the NZ First caucus and it decided such a policy needed to go to the electorate.

“We can confirm NZ First are holding up the rollout of policy that would mean cheaper electric and hybrid cars for New Zealanders,” Shaw said.

There are some changes that have been made from the latest announcement and the previous announcement.

From the latest announcement:

“We’ve made some changes to the policy proposed last term, so only cars under $80,000 and safer models are eligible for rebates. Rebates will begin from July 1 while fees on higher emitting vehicles to help fund the scheme won’t begin until 1 January 2022. The rebates will also expand from 1 January to include low emission vehicles, not just electric and plug-in hybrids.

“Importantly the policy only applies to new and used cars arriving in New Zealand, so the existing second hand market of cars that lower income families tend to purchase from will not be affected.

“We’ve also been doing the work to ensure Kiwis have the confidence to go electric, with electric vehicle chargers now available on average every 75km along most state highways. The Government has been investing directly into charging facilities through the Low Emission Transport Fund (formally the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund).

The estimate of the latest announcement is that it will prevent a total of 9.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being emitted, compared to the previous announcement’s estimated 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas savings.

The details of the new policy announcement are as follows:

  • New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used.
  • Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence.
  • Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 to continue to grow the nationwide EV charging network and support other low emission refuelling networks.
  • Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide available to help guide potential buyers.
  • Govt intends to set up EV sector leadership group to help increase uptake.
  • Proposed Sustainable Biofuels Mandate to prevent over a million tonnes of emissions while Kiwis switch over to electric.

I am sure National will run the usual disparage and confuse campaign at the announcement.  Last time Todd Muller who was Transport Spokesperson said that he was broadly supportive of the proposal.  Other Nats disparaged the policy as a tax take, even though it was revenue neutral.  And National was taken to task by the Advertising Standards Authority for false advertising.

The policy is being consulted on.  I am sure the culture warriors will attempt to derail it.

70 comments on “The Government’s Feebate scheme ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Damn it! Bought ours too early!

    Pleased for everyone else though.

    • RedBaronCV 1.1

      Me too. Virtue does not have it's own reward? Sigh another illusion gone.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Here is a little song for light relief of those who have lost their illusions and have found that 'virtue does not have its own reward'. Beware traces of loucheness. Blossom Dearie confesses:

        It's nice as nice can be, My faith is at last restored; To find that vice can be – Its own reward!

        I always go to bed at ten, Oh, isn't that a bore! I always go to bed at ten, But I go home at four!


    • greywarshark 1.2

      You're an inspirational leader Robert, along with Robyn. Don't know why you aren't Climate Change Commission Armchair Warrior, you've got a better beard too.

      About: Rod Carr is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury. Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, Carr was managing director of Jade Software Corporation. He joined Jade in 2003 after a career in the banking sector which included holding the position of Acting Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

      Rod Carr — TEDxChristchurch

  2. dv 2

    Natz say takes from the poor to give to the rich'

    Now I am poor.

    I want another car

    Will I buy an ICE and pay an extra few K


    Will i buy and ev and get a few K back

    Geez that's really hard NOT


  3. Byd0nz 3

    Welcome to the world of E

    Electric cars for the Elite

    Eff all for the rest.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      I am intrigued at the right wing culture war framing of PT issues. On the one hand, cycling and electric cars are virtue signaling to a grasping entitled middle class liberal elite, whilst on the other any attempt to do anything about housing is a socialist assault on hard working Kiwi battlers with a few investment properties. How does that work, except for perhaps trying to create a wedge issue aimed at pitching aging boomers and millennials vs Gen X?

      Really, what we've got is a political right who are deeply unserious and philosophically incoherent, have no answers to contemporary issues and really just want culture war wedge issues as an engagement mechanism to soak their aging supporters of money via subscriptions and donations.

      • Byd0nz 3.1.1

        Agree. And as an aging boomer (hate the decisive term) of the working class battler who like most rely solely on the pension, equivalent to about 8 bucks an hour on the 40 hr week scale, dont like being lumped in with the aging Nats, who are the greedy boomers.

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        Wow Sanctuary you said a mouthful there. And to me, all true.

        Really, what we've got is a political right who are deeply unserious and philosophically incoherent,

        have no answers to contemporary issues, and

        really just want culture war wedge issues as an engagement mechanism to soak their aging supporters of money via subscriptions and donations.

    • Paul Campbell 3.2

      Bullshit – our 2nd hand Leaf cost under $20k (would be under $17k after this change) – try counting the number of Leafs on the road compared with Teslas – must be 50 to 1 (since I see lots of Leafs every day and see maybe one Tesla a year) – this bullshit narrative from the right that all this is doing is subsidising Teslas for the elites makes no sense in the real world

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    A practical and useful idea as outlined by Micky–some from the sheep shagger and hobby car/ute sectors are wailing like stuck Tsunami sirens already.

    To the critics–EV light trucks are coming like it or not and the US models look pretty impressive in relevant statistics for farm use.

    I have been partial to old American cars for years starting with ’58, ’59, ’60, and ’61 Ford models, big block FE motors and I know well some of the thousands of NZ petrol heads so am not anti combustion engines–just acknowledge that times have changed and we are just years, not decades away from even nastier results of environmental melt down.

    Car fans mostly use their existing performance and classic cars very lightly rather than as daily drivers. Farmers default setting is special pleading on anything from migrant workers to hogging resources like water in Canterbury–but really–is a few grand on a ute that horrific a prospect to do your bit? It seems every time it rains extra hard (sometimes climate change related according to science) they are quite happy to receive a few more mill off the townie taxpayers!

    So, nice move to set the general principle of moving the NZ fleet to EVs.

    • GreenBus 4.1

      I'm sure the farmers will be well catered for, just need a bit more time to develop models for our market. The US EV models shown on TV had a luggage boot at the front where the motor would normally be as well as all the technology you could ever want. Farmers will be swamped for choice soon enough then what will they complain about?

  5. Noel 5

    What no free ferries, drive in bus lanes, no parking fees, no tolls etc like Norway the star of EV uptake.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Norway doesnt have the 25% GST rate for new electric cars. thats the real benefit.

      The otherside is that Norways car dealers price their cars very high compared to other parts of europe ( excl taxes). Indeed some businesses buy 'used imports' from other EU countries and make money selling them higher price in Norway

      However Norway is the biggest fossil fuel producer in Europe

  6. AB 6

    I'm a bit surprised that they are not also subsidising the purchase of non-plug in hybrids. They are a fair bit cheaper than plug-in hybrids and pure EVs – and a more realistic possibility for average buyers. Their emissions are a bit higher, but it's better than people hanging on to old ICE cars, plus it might reduce the opportunity for the Nats to 'wedge' the left by pitting the low income/working class against the more affluent, urban Labour supporters.

    There also doesn't seem to be any questioning of why we need to be lame price-takers of whatever exorbitant number car companies pluck out of their nether regions. What about a Pharmac-style approval system, or a volume deal with Nissan to bring the price of Leafs down? You'd be instant enemies with all the car dealers, which some people might view as a bonus.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      AB smileyyes

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      'What about a Pharmac-style approval system, or a volume deal with Nissan to bring the price of Leafs down'

      Norway found the opposite , as their demand for electric is much higher the car companies like Nissan charge MORE in that market than in rest of Europe.

      Higher demand can and does lead to higher prices…look in your own supermarket , prices for cans of soup , and my favourite, packs of tea rise in winter when demand is high and fall in summer period. Cost of production is a small part ” what the market will pay’ is a major factor

      Prescription medicines arent really a good comparison here

      • AB 6.2.1

        I understand what high demand does – it allows the exchange value of something to be jacked up even though its actual utility hasn't changed. I don't care if such pathological self-enrichment occurs with consumables that don't really matter – like toasters or jeans. But where the future of human civilisation may be at risk – we should all be less inclined to tolerate such a silly game.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          There is bicycles and public transport.

          The government just isnt going to 'pharmac' the vehicle market. There isnt some dire emergency like Covid happening even in the next 5 years

    • RedBaronCV 6.3

      Me too as there are sub $30k models available. Maybe they will get passage by being low emission which I think is on the back end of the policy

    • Ad 6.4


      Bulk deals through the Labour Party.

      winner winner chicken dinner.

  7. Pat 7

    The 'success' or otherwise of flipping the fleet is likely to depend more upon how road funding is collected going forward (i.e RUC and fuel taxes)….vehicle purchases will be impacted more by running costs than initial outlays.

    Apart from a suggestion fuel may increase by 30c a litre there is silence about how that funding will be collected from EV and hybrid users.

    • Ed1 7.1

      I suspect this price subsidy is relatively short term, but I would have thought a half level subsidy for non-plug in hybrids. would have been reasonable, but ultimately a revision of fuel taxes / road user charges will be needed. We should be able to measure emmission levels at every Warrant inspection, and together with the weight of the vehicle (and number of wheels / axles and load weight for heavy trucks) create a mix of fuel taxes and road user charges that enable us to meet international commitments re emissions and also enable continued funding of maintenance / development of roading – and also apply equivalent emission targets to rail so that freight costs are fair between the two. That is a complex task, but I suspect surface destruction by very heavy trucks is greater than previously allowed for (and speed, particularly on corners, may be a key issue not covered in theoretical calculations previously). The political components are setting the cost of maintenance / development that are needed for both road and rail; the scientific calculations need to decide what emission tests are needed whether actual speeds and assumed passenger / load assumptions are reasonable for different classes of vehicle, and what simplifications are needed so that fuel taxes are fixed for all users and road user charges not too complicated for different vehicles.

      • Pat 7.1.1

        I very much doubt there will be any system operating at that level of specificity.

        I can however see a charge applied with data collected via an in vehicle GPS tracker in the not too distant future though even that may be considered politically problematic….the question in my mind is why this level of planning was not announced in tandem with the feebate announcement.

        A distinct lack of planning or an unannounced agenda?…either way it dosnt inspire confidence.

        • Ed1

          The system for large trucks is nearly that complex already. Current road user charges are based on distance measured by the vehicle odometer; and vehicles have to have paid forward. GPS may be better where a vehicle is driven both on road and on private property, but we seem to cope with that already as well.

          Good analysis should result in intelligent simplifications, but also indicate when charges need to be reviewed again. Some other countries do use emissions measurements from mandatory testing – I suspect originally for clean air purposes.

  8. woodart 8

    there's nothing new in this. go back 45 yrs and there were all sorts of rebates, tax incentives etc, to wean us off big aussie petrol guzzlers, and extra incentives to persuade us into l.p.g. or c.n.g. powered vehicles. there must be some interesting adverts available to shut down any nats talk of reverse robin hood tactics.

  9. Ad 9

    Very few individuals are new car buyers.

    This policy will really only be of interest to companies with large fleets making decisions about how to get to the Net Zero targets.

    The big fleet owners who will be making the decisions that will enable a decent internal second hand market include:

    • Large government Departments like Health, Education, Social Welfare, NZTA, and Corrections
    • Large Crown Entities like universities and polytechs
    • New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police
    • Large construction companies eg roading companies
    • Local government

    Underneath those fleets that government has a lot of influence over, you then have the major corporates like:

    • Electricity generators and retailers
    • Private utilities
    • Rental companies (optimum moment since so many have dumped their fleets last year)
    • Taxis
    • Couriers (noting that NZPost already has fully electric suburban delivery)
    • Smaller subcontractors

    All of them will be able to import either as whole fleets or through Turners for small purchases.

    Once you have all of those making fleet divestment and investment decisions based on this policy change, you'll start seeing their ev and hybrid replacements appearing in the NZ second hand dealers.

    So most of the moral panic about 'how could I possibly afford it' is completely misplaced, because 95% of New Zealanders will be buying a used car sold off from a fleet, and the great majority of them will be from within New Zealand second hand dealers.

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      With the whole of life economics favouring electric and hybrid over ICE vehicles – I would not have bothered subsidising the large fleet market. I'd make them pay the subsidy back, give them a short transition period and then wack them with the tax system if they still are claiming ICE vehicles.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Those of us who operate large fleets are by no means convinced of what you say on whole-of-life economics for ev's. Maybe solid state batteries will assist with utes, who knows.

        Also our public sector clients strongly weight procurement towards carbon-zero targets in everything we do. So it's a helpful policy signal that helps accelerate existing decarbinisation plans.

        Certainly looking forward to RUC changes.

        • RedBaronCV

          Thinking more of the light fleets like rental cars.

          • Ad

            EECA has already been assisting some rental fleets to shift over.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Trucks ?

            • RedBaronCV

              I'd have thought the rental car companies would be big enough to manage by themselves rather than involve the EECA(govt?). Just wave the big tax option around a little to concentrate their thoughts.

              • Ad

                Aye well…

                Most rental cars companies don't give you the option. Just a few are now.

                Since we are in the OECD the most car-addicted country, we are way beyond market forces alone getting us out of it.

                As of 2020 we have one of the most interventionist states around, and if they are so keen on this policy direction then they are going to have to keep bringing those wheelbarrows of cash down the road to business to change their minds.

    • Craig Hall 9.2

      Most taxis are hybrids already, far cheaper to run than a standard ICE car, but hopefully the shift to electric can be managed to improve that further.

      Agree that the main source of new cars in NZ is fleets, so an initiative to heavily subsidise ex-fleet electric vehicles for lower income earners (or provide interest-free loans) could be a goer as a means to help them through the change.

      Working out policy solutions for people who can only afford <$5k and <$2k cars is still imperative however even if it's just giving them electric cars or free public transport. It will be years before the current EVs make their way down to that level, so speeding that along seems important.

      • RedBaronCV 9.2.1

        Yep we need a good solution for those who buy end of life cars. I put it as the < $15k crowd and using a car with cheaper fuel would bring a big general benefit to them personally as well as the whole country. maybe subsidise the purchase of a new but cheap hybrid and pay slightly more rego as a bit of a claw back.

        I do wonder if heaving hard at the low end of life market would collapse the value of the new to second hand ICE cars. A sort of trickle up policy?

        • Craig H

          Being quite a small country, I wonder if we could get away with buying ex-fleets from elsewhere and shipping them in. We've basically been Japan's used car salesyard for however long, what's another 10 years between friends…

      • mickysavage 9.2.2

        I own a Prius series 3. It is the third hybrid I have owned. It is great and I really like it. It is really efficient.

        Most taxis/ubers I get into are also Prius series 3s with hundreds of km on the clock and still going strong.

        But it is a progression car. Next car needs to be pure electrical with no reliance on petrol.

        • Craig H

          Still, good to do your bit and then pass it down the line for someone else to do their bit at that lower price point. Hybrids aren't as good as a BEV, but still much better as an interim step than ICE, especially guzzlers.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    "existing second hand market of cars that lower income families tend to purchase from will not be affected."

    Not how it works in practice, higher prices on used imports WILL lead to higher prices on existing used cars. Used imports have a range of years and values and arent all 5 years and under. for example a $5000 increase on a particular new or used import will mean around $3-4000 increase in 'value' of a slightly older car of the same type

  11. aom 11

    The subsidy policy supports another charge on the less affluent to subsidise the virtuous middle-class who can afford to buy e-vehicles without a subsidy anyway.


    In fact, the point of the exercise should be to develop and incentivise policies that minimise or even eliminate the need for private vehicle ownership. The start point should providing fare-free efficient high capacity public transport, subsidised by taxing private vehicle usage in cities. (

    • Pat 11.1

      That would require comprehensive joined up policy implementation….that dosnt appear on the agenda.

    • RedBaronCV 11.2

      Yeah a Roger Douglas style trickle down car policy. I'd have capped it at about $35k.

      But given that this country is generally fairly lightly populated, the density for major public transport is just not there in a lot of areas. If a road is not overused is there anything wrong with private vehicles? Yes there is a resource shift to remake ICE into EV ( and a lot of work still happening in this area) but we want to have a green country not have ideological pure one surely? Too much that is ideological rather than green risks turning people off.

  12. Andre 12

    Electric vehicles are currently scheduled to start paying Road User Charges from January 1, 2022. At the same rate as light diesel vehicles, 7.6 cents/km (plus administration fees).

    Meanwhile, the 2014 hybrid Honda Fit I just really stretched my usual car budget for and spent $10.5k, is costing me 7.2 cents/km for petrol (no administration fees).

    If some of the electric vehicles on the horizon with decent range and reasonable pricing actually make it here, I could seriously consider spending $35k or $40k or $50k to get myself some emissions-free near-silent driving, if there's also some operating cost savings.

    But it ain't gonna happen if the RUCs for an electric vehicle are more than the petrol cost of what I have now. (I do my own maintenance, so the reduced maintenance of an ev doesn't really save me much)

    • RedBaronCV 12.1

      I looked at the RUC stuff on the transport site. It wasn't very helpful I felt. Are RUC charges going on all EV's even the smaller vehicles not just those over 3.5 tonnes? And how does the RUC work for hybrid vehicles ? Or are they getting a free pass only paying for the tax on the petrol they buy. Do small diseal cars pay RUC now?

      • Andre 12.1.1

        Are RUC charges going on all EV's even the smaller vehicles not just those over 3.5 tonnes?

        Yes, that is the current plan.

        And how does the RUC work for hybrid vehicles?

        They don't pay now and won't pay according to the current plan.

        Or are they getting a free pass only paying for the tax on the petrol they buy.

        Correct. Non plug-in hybrids will be paying their contribution through petrol excise tax just like now.

        I haven't seen what the proposal will be for after December 31 this year for plug-in hybrids (such as Prius Prime and Rav4 Prime and Mitsubishi Outlandish PHEV) that may in fact conceivably do all their driving on electricity. Nor for range-extended EV such as the BMW i# or Transit due to arrive here soon.

        Did small diseal cars use to pay RUC?

        Yes. Still do. They have been paying RUC since at least March 1999, with the same rate applying whether it's a tiny Toyota Harlot diesel or a behemoth Audi Q7 Codpiece Edition.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Road user charges will be coming for hybrid and electrical vehicles , it will happen.

          The difference in RUC for light vehicles to light trucks is only $5 per 1000km.

          Using the roads for MORE km is how most vehicles pay , harlot or codpiece. Weight only comes into it for much heavier trucks.

          • Andre

            Yes, road user charges should be coming for electrics and plug-in hybrids.

            But the rate kms are charged at will encourage or discourage ev uptake. At the moment, the rate that is scheduled to apply from January 1 2022 will strongly discourage ev adoption, since it will cost more per km to drive an ev than it will to drive an economical petrol powered car.

            Hopefully when government recognises this as a serious issue, the whole RUC/petrol excise tax/ACC levy/registration fees system will get a long overdue complete top-to-bottom reform. Which should include getting trucking to pay a larger fairer share of our road system cost.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              The savings should be in price petrol

              $75 per 100 km isnt a big deal to pay for use of roads after all. the petrol cost inc roads charges is far greater

              • Andre

                The $7.60 per 100km scheduled to be imposed on EVs is more than the $7.20 per 100 km I pay for petrol right now for my hybrid car. Of that $7.20 per 100 km, about $2.40 is the petrol excise tax that goes to paying for the roads.

                Then if you pay for the electricity to charge the ev (rather than getting it for free from home solar panels, say) that's another $4 or so per 100 km.

                Without changing the scheduled imposition of RUC on electric cars from the start of next year, just the operating cost of an economical petrol vehicle will be less than the operating cost of an ev. Let alone the initial purchase price disadvantage an ev will still have.

    • Pat 12.2

      If the total fleet decreases as would be expected if the policy goals are even partially achieved then the costs of the infrastructure will be spread over a smaller pool of vehicles.

      Unless there is complete funding change away from 'user pays' (albeit partially) then the costs must increase irrespective of mode of fuel…..or perhaps the infrastructure provision is reduced (?) but the opposite appears to be the case currently.

      • Andre 12.2.1

        Who is expecting the total fleet to decrease and what is their basis for that expectation?

        It won't be decreasing because of cost reasons, or at most cost will drive a temporary blip in the curve.

        The biggest cost driver for EVs is the battery. Everything else about an EV is either cheaper or the same cost to produce as an ICE vehicle.

        So as batteries continue to decrease in cost, and EV mass market penetration increases, there will be a shift from most evs on the market being performance focused to "good enough at the best price". Which will further drive down battery manufacturing costs.

        • Pat

          "Who is expecting the total fleet to decrease and what is their basis for that expectation?"

          It is a stated policy goal…to increase the use of public transport, to increase the uptake of active transport and to reduce the reliance on/use of the private vehicle fleet.

          You are confusing the costs of vehicles with the costs of infrastructure….the roading , fueling provision (dual systems required for decades) and administration of the extended transition will fall on a decreasing pool of those that can afford/choose to continue private transport (population growth implications set to one side) creating a potential downward spiral of affordability.

          • Andre

            They can have it as a stated goal. But whether it is achieved will be influenced by lots of factors, only some of which are policy choices in the hands of government.

            And frankly, so far, the policy choices the government is making don't appear that they will be particularly effective in making alternatives to private vehicle transport particularly attractive to the huge majority of people.

            Meanwhile, factors outside of government policy choices, including the ever decreasing cost of private transport relative to income, are pushing hard in the direction of ever increasing vehicle fleets.

            • Pat

              I beg to differ….the increased costs of transport emissions havnt begun yet and the majority of NZers are short on discretionary income (thanks largely to housing costs) so when those increased costs begin to mount there will be less ability to meet them be it congestion charges, RUC, vehicle replacement/repair all of which will result in reduced activity ….consider what happens when fuel prices spiked in the past, use decreases by necessity…..this is that on steroids and for a considerably extended period.

              Private motor vehicle use will decrease….as intended.

        • Mitch

          Have you seen the conditions the batteries are made in third world countries ? The whole landscape is destroyed and it will get worse not to mention the toxic chemicals used in the extraction and the child labour used

    • mac1 12.3

      My electricity cost for my EV is 31c for 7.5 km for power from the grid or less if supplied by my solar panels. That is, about 4c a km. Add 7.5c per km RUC that's nearly 12c a km. My old petrol car (3 litre V6) costs 23c per km for petrol.

      My EV goes from being 5 times cheaper for fuel to twice as cheap with RUC. At least I won't be chipped by my ICE mates for my free use of the roads at the moment in my EV.

      The RUC charges won't persuade people to move to EVs. Continuing no charges for road use might., especially if I have not benefitted from the new 'feebate' and I keep my current EV for another ten years.

      If I run an EV for 12000 km which is average, I understand, then in RUC I'll pay 7.5c times 12000 or $900 per annum. Is that enough saving from the hidden RUC in the petrol price to help persuade people to shift to EVs?

      It might if the RUC component in petrol was raised, and readily featured as a cost of ICE motoring; or if petrol increased in price as a result of usual market forces, by 30c per litre some are postulating.

      • RedBaronCV 12.3.1

        I hope I did the numbers correctly but according to me the RUC of $76 per 1000 km equates to a car petrol tax (at 70c per litre plus Gst) for a car that uses about 94 litres of petrol per 1000 km so a usage of 9.4Litres/100km.

        But most of the cars around here are the smaller 1800cc and under, and even15-20 year old versions get around 7.0 to 7.5km per 100 litres so the RUC charges for electrics are around a bout a 20% increase going to the LTA.

        That's a

        – huge tax grab or increase

        – and isn't going to do a thing for shifting to EV.

        The moral seems to be – buy a hybrid.

    • Ed1 12.4

      I commented on Road User Charge and Fuel taxes and using individual emission measurements in 7.1 above. Probably should have read further before commenting, but I think the next review needs to re-look at the whole system for both road and rail – it may give a hint as to whether electrification of more rail is justified . . .

  13. Poission 13

    The estimate of the latest announcement is that it will prevent a total of 9.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being emitted

    Depends where the electricity comes from (problem with using gross estimates)

    Today we are using 1.35gw of fossil fuel to generate electricity,which would need to be replaced,and additional generation for increased demand.

    Whilst a reasonable policy,as opposed to the Bridge which would never be carbon neutral ( construction footprint vs mitigated emissions) questions do need to be clarified.

  14. vto 14

    Of course the National Party and their supporters are agin it…

    they are conservatives

    and conservatives are, by definition and through history, no good when the world needs to move ahead into new territories… ever…

    and so we see it repeated again before our eyes…

    that conservative weight, unthinking just heavy, being hauled into the future..

  15. barry 15

    Bear in mind:

    in 10 years time the big car makers will not be making new models of ICE cars, and advanced economies will not be allowing them. Some manufacturers will keep some production lines going for dinosaurs like NZ.

    in 20 years time it will be hard to buy petrol/diesel and the price will be high. Given our propensity for keeping cars on the road forever buying ICE cars is going to prove very expensive in the long term.

    NZ households can't think beyond next week (a large percentage can't afford to) and the long term economics will not influence their decisions as much as they should, therefore putting the price on petrol (through the ETS) does not send a strong enough signal so the feebate scheme is necessary to change purchasing decisions.

    Most poorer people in NZ do not buy new cars and will not be affected by this immediately. In 5+ years time when the cars that are subsidised/penalised are being sold on the second hand market the petrol price will be a more significant factor.

    The petrol-heads will scream (until they discover the performance available from some electric vehicles). Most people are just interested in getting where they want to go in comfort.

    National will fight any policy that is likely to make a difference. I think they have sold out to the Martians who want to alter the atmosphere/climate to the point where they can live here before they invade: see

    The news media will screw up the message and report the FUD without thought.

  16. millsy 16

    I really cannot see why the government cannot just offer interest free loans to people who want to buy electric cars, if they trade in their older high emission model.

    Seems to be a better idea. In the 1970's we did the same to convert high emission vehicles to run on CNG. We did quite well in fact.

  17. I have a question

    Does the government really think that they can influence people to buy EV or hybrids with this policy?

  18. Robert Guyton 18

    Invercargill MP and regional councillor rev up on electric vehicle policy

    Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds should support climate change initiatives instead of levelling “opportunistic” criticism at the Government over the issue, an Environment Southland councillor says.

    Simmonds has hit out at the Government’s policy to encourage more New Zealanders to buy electric vehicles, which includes rebates for those who do so, and fees for those who buy high emission vehicles.

    The “car tax” would unfairly hurt Southland farmers, tradespeople and low income earners for whom low-emission vehicles were either unsuitable or too expensive, she said.

    However, Environment Southland councillor Robert Guyton said Simmonds was casting the worst case scenario in order to stir up political support, “at a time when political parties should be working together to meet these [climate change] challenges.”

    There were “good paths forward” for farmers and trades people around the purchase of electric vehicles, with Guyton saying research would uncover good options now and in the pipeline.

    “Penny should be supporting those people she claims to support by doing some research on their behalf, to make this pathway easier for them, rather than just winding them up.”

    People were talking about how difficult it was to get materials for electric vehicle use, but they were forgetting that was also the case with the vehicles they were driving now, he said.

    However, Simmonds said she wanted to know what the pathways were that Guyton was referring to.

    “There are no viable alternatives at the moment for the farmers and the tradespeople who need vehicles to travel long distances with a lot of gear,” she said.

    The Government policy would add more cost for such businesses and those costs would have to be passed onto their customers, she added.

    “Farmers, builders, contractors and those on low incomes have all expressed their shock and anger at this latest move,” she said.

    Guyton said New Zealand was lagging behind other countries in its uptake of electric vehicles and he supported the Government’s approach.

    The best way to make change was to provide a carrot, through the electric vehicle rebate scheme, and a stick, through adding fees on high emission vehicles.

    “The two things do have to go together to make change in society,” Guyton said.

    He believed retaining the status quo was not an option.

    “We are being pressured by overseas countries who are well ahead of us and are making these changes now, so for us to put our heads in the sand and say we aren’t going to do it would be ludicrous.”

    The Government was taking “very bold steps” in the right direction, he believed.

    “Penny and the National Party should refrain from attacking the Government on anything it is trying to do to meet our climate change obligations. They should get in behind the Government and support these changes which have to happen.”

    Guyton said there were visionary leaders in Southland who could see climate change initiatives were inevitable so were looking at ways for the region to benefit.

    “Those on their hind legs, making a lot of protest noise against these inevitable changes, aren’t helping at all.”

    Simmonds said Guyton was ignoring the fact New Zealand had to have a strong economy to implement a lot of the changes being promoted.

    It was a nonsense to promote electric vehicles when the Government was importing coal from Indonesia to generate power, she said.

    “They have to step back and look at getting some of the basics right first.”

    • weka 18.1

      The policy looks very big city centric. Which is a problem, but also an opportunity for leaders in places like Southland to do the leg work on how to make to it work in rural areas. Good on pushing back against the naysayers Robert, it's such a shame that other political leaders can't see how to serve people better for the long haul.

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