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Clean Car Discount Ending Soon...

A National Victory and the Future of the Clean Car Discount

The National Party's recent triumph in New Zealand's general election could signal the end of the Clean Car Discount scheme. This scheme, known for providing significant rebates for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), while imposing additional costs on high-emission vehicles such as utes, is now on the chopping block. This legistlation is scheduled to be removed on the 31st of December 2023.

A Brief History of the Clean Car Discount

Launched in mid-2021, the scheme initially focused solely on rebates for new and used EVs and PHEVs, aiming to spur a shift towards environmentally friendly vehicles. Tesla's Model 3 and Model Y were among the major beneficiaries. However, in 2022, the scope expanded to include low-emission hybrid and petrol vehicles, marking the start of the 'feebate' model.

National's Perspective and Plans

Christopher Luxon, the National leader and incoming prime minister, expressed opposition to subsidies for EVs, arguing that the shift to EVs will naturally occur. National plans to enhance electric vehicle adoption by focusing on expanding the public charger network, with an ambitious goal of 10,000 chargers by 2030.

Labour's Achievements and National's Continued Commitment

Despite National's stance, Labour highlighted the program's impact, with vehicle emissions dropping significantly and a rise in the adoption of electrified vehicles. The Clean Car Discount had led to 156,000 rebates by September.

While National is set to scrap the Clean Car Discount, it intends to retain and possibly adjust the Clean Car Standard, a related program imposing strict emissions standards on imported vehicles.

Looking Ahead

This policy shift reflects a broader debate on environmental strategies and economic sustainability. With National's plan to foster EV adoption through infrastructure rather than subsidies, the path forward for New Zealand's automotive landscape is poised for significant change.

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