Government extends RUC exemption for electric vehicles

The government has announced that it will extend the Road User Charges (RUC) exemption for electric vehicles until March 31, 2024, saving drivers about $800 annually.

“Our government continues to take action to address transportation emissions to meet our 2050 carbon-neutral goal — part of this is helping Kiwis have cleaner cars,” Transportation Secretary Michael Wood said.

New Zealanders can save about $800 a year with this exemption, which gives them another reason to switch to an electric car. Since charging your electric car at home off-peak is like buying gasoline at around 40°C/L, there are huge savings to be made.

Electric vehicles will not pay road tolls for two and a half years.

Damien O’Carroll/Staff

Electric vehicles will not pay road tolls for two and a half years.

The clean car discount also helps with the initial cost of getting an electric vehicle, with Kiwis getting up to $8,625 in hand.

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“While the clean car discount provides support to those who buy zero-emission cars now, the waiver continues to support those who bought one before the discount was announced.

New electric cars like the Peugeot e-208 benefit from the clean car discount.  Owners will now not have to pay road user fees until 2024.

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New electric cars like the Peugeot e-208 benefit from the clean car discount. Owners will now not have to pay road user fees until 2024.

In addition, the government is working to quadruple the Low Emission Transmission Fund by 2023 to continue the growth of the nationwide electric vehicle charging network. Electric vehicle chargers are already available every 75 km along most state highways.

“With more than five times the number of electric vehicles registered on our roads since we got into the office, and this is likely to grow even faster with our new policies, we will need to look more closely at any further extensions of the light vehicle exemption for electric vehicles,” Wood added.

Drive Electric, a non-profit organization dedicated to popularizing electric mobility in New Zealand, is supporting the move.

Even the cool Hyundai Ioniq 5 only enters the clean car discount, but all versions won't need to pay for RUCs.

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Even the cool Hyundai Ioniq 5 only enters the clean car discount, but all versions won’t need to pay for RUCs.

Mark Gilbert, President of Drive Electric, said Drive Electric welcomes the extension of the exemption from Road User Charges (RUCs) for electric vehicles through March 31, 2024. This policy has been in place since the previous government and it makes sense to extend it to support the uptake of electric vehicles.”

“Drive Electric has called for a short-term extension. However, as electric vehicles will inevitably become a larger share of our national fleet, we will need to think about how we will fund roads and maintenance in the future. Therefore, we support that the extension be temporary and can be reassessed as necessary.”

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