Making EVs make sense for business

The Clean Car Discount

The Clean Car Discount was announced in January 2021 – with support from the Drive Electric team. The discount is designed to make EVs more affordable for individuals and businesses, increase their uptake in New Zealand, and ultimately reduce CO2 emissions from light vehicles. 

The scheme provides a range of rebates to businesses buying and registering electric vehicles for the first time in New Zealand. The current discount applies from 1st July – 31st December 2021, but new rates are expected next year.

In tandem with the rebates, Clean Car Penalties will apply to high emission vehicles from 2022 – these are designed to reflect the impact this type of vehicle has on the environment.   

1 July – 31 Dec 2021 (GST incl)

New vehicle Used import
Battery electric vehicle (zero emission) $8625 $3450
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (low emission) $5750 $2300

Note: for public authorities, rebate payments will be less GST.

The details – getting your rebate

The scheme will be managed by Waka Kotahi – if your business purchases one or more EVs, you’ll need to apply for your rebate through them. 

When you apply, you’ll be asked for your business name, proof of vehicle ownership and bank account details.

An evolving scheme

The numbers laid out in the current scheme are set to expire in 2022, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get a rebate if you transition to EVs later on. The government plans to adjust the level of rebates – and fees for high-emission vehicles – each year, to keep up with changes in vehicle emissions and make sure the scheme is self-funding. 

From 2022, more rebates will be available. These will include incentives for vehicles that meet low CO2 emissions standards but can’t be plugged in.

Penalties for polluters

From January 2022, Clean Car Penalties will apply to high-emission vehicles. These will be charged on a sliding scale according to their emissions rating – vehicles in the middle of the target range won’t be charged.

Exemptions and extra changes

Some EV vehicles will not be eligible for the Clean Car Discount. 

  • Any vehicle with a purchase price of $80,000 or more (including GST and on-road costs) will not be eligible.
  • Vehicles with a low safety rating – less than three stars – will not be eligible either. Check if you’re unsure.

Changes for car dealers

Although they’re not required to administer rebates, car dealers will also be affected by the Clean Car program, starting in 2022. 

  • Under the Clean Car standard, vehicle suppliers will have to import a higher proportion of fuel-efficient vehicles. 
  • Dealers will need to give customers clear information about the emissions levels of every vehicle they sell, so consumers can make informed decisions. They will also need to show whether each vehicle is eligible for a rebate or a high-emissions fee. 

If you need advice or support as you transition your fleet, we can help – join Drive Electric for advice, support, and ongoing EV advocacy.

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