New benefits for electric vehicle owners

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 10, 2017

“Light EVs are already exempt from paying road user charges until 31 December 2021. On top of all of the other benefits that EVs generate, extending this exemption to heavy EVs will offer a significant cost reduction to the operators of these vehicles,” Bridges says.

Changes have also been made to Land Transport rules, which from 1 September will enable road controlling authorities such as NZTA and local and regional councils to make bylaws to allow EVs access to special vehicle lanes, such as those dedicated to buses and high occupancy vehicles.

“The positive acceptance of EVs in New Zealand is having real benefits. We are now offering more choice in new EVs than ever before. We are also seeing an increase in the number of used EVs importers are bringing into the country,” Bridges says.

“It is great that both private and public sector organisations are helping uptake by choosing EVs over conventional petrol or diesel vehicles for their fleets.”

Bridges says over the past year there has been an increase in businesses opting for EVs as non-passenger vehicles, including light vans for food delivery, public transport and refuse trucks.

“We want to see this extend to operators of heavy vehicles as well with these latest changes designed to encourage this growth. Going electric is not only good for business, but makes best use of New Zealand‘s plentiful renewable energy supply, improves air quality and minimises greenhouse gas emissions,” Bridges says.

In May 2016, the Government announced its Electric Vehicle Programme, a wide-ranging package of measures to encourage the uptake of EVs in New Zealand. The target is to double the fleet each year, reaching 64,000 EV registrations by the end of 2021.