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Clean Car Programme overview

The Clean Car Standard and the Clean Car Discount will require legislative changes before becoming law. Subject to this legislation being passed, they will form central pillars of a range of government initiatives to tackle transport sector CO2 emission levels. It is proposed that the Clean Car Discount will focus on influencing vehicle demand and the Clean Car Standard on influencing vehicle supply.

The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019 requires CO2 emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2050. As transport is responsible for 47 percent of the domestic CO2 in New Zealand, this target cannot be achieved without decarbonising transport. 

The proposed Clean Car Standard is a government target that regulates importers to reduce CO2 emissions of vehicles entering New Zealand to specific standards and targets.

The Clean Car Discount will encourage buyer demand by providing rebates for zero and low-emission light vehicles registered in New Zealand for the first time.

The Clean Car Discount came into effect on 1 July 2021 and until 31 December 2021 will provide rebates (subject to funding limitations) for eligible new and used light electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) after they are registered in New Zealand for the first time.

From 1 January 2022 the Clean Car Discount will be based on the CO2 emissions of vehicles. Those with zero or low emissions would qualify for a rebate and those with high emissions would incur a fee.

The proposed Clean Car Standard and Clean Car Discount schemes are part of a suite of measures Cabinet has approved to help address climate change.

Further details will be provided later this year.