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An electric car anyone?

March 15, 2019 March 2019 No Comments

At the end of 2017, the average emissions of light vehicles registered in New Zealand was 179.3g CO2/km. Compare this with the average emissions level of a new car sold in 2017 in the European Union of 118.5g CO2/km. It’s a big difference.

Things are slowly changing. At the end of June 2018, New Zealand had 8,696 plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) – or 0.2% of the country’s vehicle fleet. So how can we change the other 99.8% of vehicles? For once, there are many other countries we can look to for guidance. 

First – let’s look at the tax system. We know that price signals influence purchasing behaviour. This is one way Norway has achieved its place as the world leader in EV adoption.

Globally, Norway has the highest uptake per capita of EVs. Over half of new car registrations in Norway in 2017 were electric or hybrid cars. This has happened because Norway has adopted a multi-pronged approach to encourage purchases of EVs. For example, EVs are exempt from purchase taxes and the 25% value-added-tax (our GST equivalent). EVs also benefit from free parking in public car parks, are exempt from tolls and domestic ferry fees, and are also exempt from the annual motor vehicle tax (the equivalent of our registration).

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