This may be of interest to those of you who are aggrieved about the free use of our road system by those who own and drive Smugmobiles. Particularly since the petrol tax is going up yet again.
Tena koe e [redacted]
Thank you for your email of 10 June 2019 to Hon Phil Twyford, Minister of Transport, regarding electric vehicles and road tax. Your email has been referred to me for response as the matters you raise fall within my portfolio as Associate Minister of Transport.
The Government is keen to support the uptake of electric vehicles alongside other low-emission forms of transport.
Electric vehicles will not only help us to reduce climate-damaging emissions but also reduce harmful local air pollution. Supporting the uptake of electric vehicles also supports the Government’s overall drive towards a net-zero emissions economy.
Electric vehicles are exempt from paying Road User Charges (RUC) until the end of 2021. This exemption is part of the Electric Vehicles Programme, introduced in May 2016, which aims to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand.
For these purposes, electric vehicles are those which run solely on externally charged batteries, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which have both a petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor powered by externally rechargeable batteries. The more common form of hybrid, where the batteries cannot be charged externally, pay for their road use by way of fuel excise duty on the petrol they use. Plug-in hybrids pay petrol tax when they aren’t using their electric battery.
The number of electric vehicles on the road is climbing quickly, but remains a small proportion of the fleet. New Zealand has approximately 15,000 electric vehicles out of a total of around 4 million, so while the exemption delivers a worthwhile benefit to support the early uptake of electric vehicles, the additional cost borne by other road users is minimal.
The Government’s long term view is that all road users should pay for their use of the roads, and exempting some types of vehicles is not sustainable when they start to become a material proportion of the fleet. This is why electric vehicles will be subject to RUC after the end of 2021.
Thank you for taking the time to write to the Minister of Transport.
Naku noa, na
Hon Julie Anne Genter
Associate Minister of Transport
Nga mihi koe
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