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Clean Car questions and answers

Clean Car Discount

  • Why has the Clean Car Discount been introduced?

    The Government is accelerating the response to climate change to achieve a carbon neutral target for New Zealand by 2050. It announced the proposed Clean Car Standard in January 2021. The introduction of the Clean Car Discount scheme on 1 July 2021 aims to help bring down transport emissions by making the purchase of zero and low-CO2 emission vehicles more affordable.

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  • What is the Clean Car Discount?

    The Clean Car Discount encourages the purchase of electric or low-CO2 emission light vehicles by reducing the cost of eligible new and used fuel-efficient vehicles coming into New Zealand and, subject to legislation being passed, will introduce a fee on high-polluting vehicles from 2022. A discount, in the form of a rebate, is being offered for eligible imported zero and low-CO2 emission vehicles from 1 July 2021 until 31 March 2022. From 1 April 2022, it is proposed, subject to legislation being passed, that fees and rebates will be applied according to the CO2 emission of vehicles. The higher the CO2 rating the greater the fee and the lower the CO2 rating the greater the rebate.

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  • What is the difference between the rebate available until 31 March 2022 and the proposed Clean Car Discount being implemented in April 2022?

    Rebates are available for eligible light battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and light plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) registered between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022. If funding permits, applications will be accepted up until 31 May 2022 for vehicles registered between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022.

    From 1 April 2022, subject to legislation being passed, it is proposed that the Clean Car Discount will provide a range of rebates for new and used imported low-emission and hybrid light vehicles and will charge a fee for high-polluting vehicles based on the CO2 rating of the vehicle. All vehicles below a CO2 rating zero band will be eligible for a rebate and those above the zero band will incur a fee.

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  • How do I apply for a rebate?

    You can apply online once the vehicle has been registered and allocated a number plate. The rebate will only be paid into the registered person’s bank account, with the exception of lessors, who may be eligible when they are not the registered person.

    To apply, fill out the application form on the Waka Kotahi website and upload the required supporting information – you will need the vehicle plate number, a copy of the vehicle sale agreement and your bank account details. Registered motor vehicle traders will also need to provide the required statutory declaration. Lessors will also need to provide the Acknowledgment of lease agreement.

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  • How much is the 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 rebate?

    There are four rebates available, based on electric vehicle type and whether it is a used or new vehicle:

    1 July 2021–31 March 2022 (GST incl) New vehicle Used import
    Battery electric vehicle (BEV) (zero emission) $8625 $3450
    Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (low emission) $5750 $2300

    GST is included in the rebate except for public authorities. GST-registered businesses receiving rebates for work vehicles will return the GST.

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  • What is the difference between a hybrid vehicle and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)?

    A hybrid vehicle gets its energy simultaneously from an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor. The ICE and the electric motor work together to power the car, which reduces petrol consumption and CO2 emissions. The ICE uses petrol to recharge the vehicle’s battery, which powers the electric motor.

    A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) also uses an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor, but it has a larger battery and electric motor than a hybrid. The battery can be plugged in and charged, and usually gives the vehicle a short electric-only range – up to 50km at lower speeds. When vehicle speeds or power demands are higher, or the battery is running low the ICE provides most of the power to the vehicle. The battery is recharged both from a plug-in charger and the ICE. Once the battery is mostly depleted the vehicle operates like a conventional hybrid until plugged in and charged again.

    In both a hybrid and a PHEV the battery is also charged as the vehicle slows down by using regenerative braking. This further reduces fuel usage and emissions.

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  • Will the Clean Car Discount rebate fund run out?

    The intention is for the fund not to run out as its role is to make electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles more affordable. Even with the extension to the Clean Car Discount rebate, the fund is not projected to run out. If the rebate funds are exhausted due to demand higher than expected, no rebate will be paid and we will issue a statement if this occurs. Once the scheme restarts, only vehicles registered from the restart date will qualify for a rebate.

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  • How will fees and discounts be set from 1 April 2022?

    Subject to legislation being passed, it is proposed that fees and discounts will be set according to CO2 emission ratings based on international testing protocols. Ratings are intended to be calculated using the World Harmonized Light-duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). It is intended that vehicles supplied with other testing protocols will be converted to WLTP. Rebates and fees will be reviewed regularly.

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  • How will I know what the fee or Clean Car Discount is?

    Subject to legislation being passed, it is intended that dealers will be required to display the CO2 emissions fee or discount on the windscreen of the vehicle for sale and in online advertising from 2022. This is in addition to the star rating and fuel economy information that is currently required to be displayed on a Vehicle Fuel Economy Label (VFEL).

    Waka Kotahi will work with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority New Zealand (EECA) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to ensure dealers comply with any labelling regulations that come into force.

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  • What discount and fees apply from 1 April 2022?

    It is proposed that from 1 April 2022 the Clean Car Discount will be based on CO2 emission ratings. There is a zero band in the ratings at which there is no discount (rebate) and no fee is payable. A vehicle with a CO2 rating above the zero band incurs a fee. The further above the zero band, the greater the fee up to a maximum value. Vehicles with CO2 ratings below the zero band are eligible for a discount (rebate), up to a maximum.

    It is intended that the Clean Car Discount rates from April 2022 will be finalised later this year. The following rates are proposed (including GST):

    Clean Car Programme 2022 overview

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Clean Car Standard

  • What is the Clean Car Standard?

    The proposed Clean Car Standard, which will require legislative changes to become law, is a government target that will regulate importers to reduce CO2 emissions of vehicles entering New Zealand to specific standards.

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  • What is the purpose of the Clean Car Standard?

    The Clean Car Standard would incentivise importers/distributors to supply cleaner cars to those living in New Zealand. If more vehicle buyers purchase electric vehicles because there are more low-emission options available, the vehicle carbon emissions in New Zealand will be reduced, helping achieve the Government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050, and its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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  • What environment concerns have driven the introduction of the Clean Car Standard?

    The goal is for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050 and we have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (primarily carbon dioxide CO2) to 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

    In New Zealand, approximately half of CO2 emissions come from transport, of which two-thirds come from light vehicles. Transport emissions have been rising faster than other sectors, almost doubling between 1990 and 2020.

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