The Clean Car Discount is an initiative aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by making it more affordable to buy Electric Vehicles (EV) and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) in New Zealand. This takes the form of a rebate – or money back from the Government – on eligible EV and PHEV purchases. It took effect on 1 July 2021.
The Clean Car Discount is the first part of a larger Clean Car Programme which, subject to legislation, will come into effect from 1 April 2022. The full programme will be based on the CO2 emissions of vehicles, with those with zero or low emissions qualifying for a rebate and those with higher emissions incurring a fee. More on this below.
Which vehicles does the rebate apply to?
The Clean Car Discount applies to new EV and PHEVs, and imported EV and PHEVs registered in New Zealand for the first time between 1 July and 31 March 2022.
The vehicle must cost no more that $80,000 including GST and on road costs and must have a minimum 3 star safety rating. Any vehicles costing over $80,000 inc GST and ORC and/or without a 3 star safety rating or higher are excluded from the rebate. The RightCar website is the standard reference point for the safety rating.
The rebate does not apply to full Hybrid vehicles (those with dual petrol and electric engines but not able to be plugged in) nor any vehicles with internal combustion engines (petrol or diesel models).
How much is the rebate?
The rebates will vary depending on the vehicle you buy and are subject to fund availability:*
New EV $8,625
New PHEV $5,750
Used EV $3,450
Used PHEV $2,300
Note that the term ‘used’ here applies to imported EV and PHEVs that have come into the country and are being registered in New Zealand for the first time between 1 July and 31 March 2022. It does not apply to any other used vehicles.
* The rebate is paid by the Government from fund of approximately $300 million they have set aside to start the programme. This fund is finite and if due to demand, the money runs out before 31 March 2022, there will be no rebate available until it is replenished. This would occur when the programme restarts and only vehicles registered after the restart date would be eligible for the rebate (there would be no back payment of rebates). Therefore these figures are all subject to availability.
Once the second part of the programme comes into effect (subject to legislation) the fees collected on the sale of vehicles with high CO2 emissions will be used to fund the rebates, making it sustainable and effectively cost neutral for the Government.
How does the Clean Car Discount work?
Once you’ve found the EV or PHEV you would like to buy, check that the rebate will apply (ie, that the vehicle comes within the $80,000 inc GST and ORC threshold and has a minimum 3 star safety rating) and buy the vehicle. You then apply online to Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) for the rebate, providing the sale agreement, numberplate details and your bank account. Once approved the rebate is paid directly to your bank account.
It’s important to note that the dealership is not involved in this process and that the rebate amount does not come off the total cost paid to the dealer at the time of the sale. You must pay for the vehicle first, with the rebate being a transaction between yourself and Waka Kotahi. See more here.
What changes in January 2022
From 1 January 2022, and subject to legislation being passed, the full Clean Car Programme will come into force. At this time every new and used vehicle (ie, those being registered for the first time in New Zealand) will be subject to either a rebate or a fee, based on its CO2 emissions. Vehicles with no emissions (EVs) or emissions falling below a certain CO2 rating band will eligible for a rebate, and those with higher emissions will be charged a fee. Vehicles with higher emissions will attract higher fees; those buying vehicles with lower emissions relative to the target CO2 will pay lower fees.
It is expected that petrol-powered hybrid vehicles (those not able to be plugged in) and some low emission petrol vehicles may also be eligible for a rebate.
More details on the fees and rebates applicable from 1 January 2022 will become available over the coming months, however indications are that the maximum fee on a high emission vehicle will be $5,175.
For more information on the Clean Car Discount rebates that came into effect on 1 July 2021 and the programme from 2022, see the Waka Kotahi website. This site is regularly updated and will answer any questions you may have.
Which models are eligible?
We have a number of EV and PHEVs available which are eligible for the rebate. Please talk to our sales team or see our EV & Hybrid vehicles page for more information.
The vehicles we have that are currently eligible for the Clean Car Discount are: