New Zealand to introduce new rules for EV owners
Government of New Zealand is set to introduce a new rule which will exempt operators of electric vehicles (EVs) from the road user charges and also allow the EV drivers to use bus and high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
Beginning next month, heavy EVs will be exempt from road user charges, which otherwise apply to vehicles that do not pay for petrol at the pump until they make up 2% of the country’s heavy vehicle fleet.
New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges said: “Light EVs are already exempt from paying road user charges until 31 December 2021.
“On top of all of the other benefits that EVs generate, extending this exemption to heavy EVs will offer a significant cost reduction to the operators of these vehicles.”
The government has also made changes to land transport rules, which will be effective from next month.
Following the changes, road controlling authorities, such as the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and local and regional councils, will be able to make bylaws in order to allow EVs to access the special vehicle lanes dedicated for buses and high occupancy vehicles.
Bridges further added: “The positive acceptance of EVs in New Zealand is having real benefits. We are now offering more choice in new EVs than ever before. We are also seeing an increase in the number of used EVs importers are bringing into the country.”
In May 2016, the government announced its Electric Vehicle Programme, a wide ranging package of measures to encourage the uptake of EVs in the country.
The government has also set a target to double the fleet each year, aimed at reaching 64,000 EV registrations by the end of 2021.