RUC for electric vehicles

RUC will apply to light electric vehicles from April

If you have a light electric vehicle, you'll need to buy and display a road user charges (RUC) licence from 1 April 2024.

Anyone using New Zealand’s roads contributes towards their upkeep. Most road users pay fuel tax when they buy petrol, through fuel excise duty (FED). Others, such as drivers of diesel vehicles, pay through RUC.

About RUC

The types of electric vehicles that will pay RUC

You'll need to buy RUC if your vehicle:

  • is powered fully or partly from externally supplied electricity, and
  • weighs 1001kg–3500kg. 

This includes plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).

It doesn't include:

  • hybrid vehicles that can’t plug in to recharge; or
  • ‘very’ light vehicles (1000kg or less) such as motorcycles and mopeds.

You don't need to do anything until April

From 1 April 2024, you’ll be able to buy a RUC licence for your electric vehicle online, or in person at a Waka Kotahi agent. 

You'll have until 31 May 2024 to buy your first RUC licence. 

We’ll give you more information closer to the time about what you need to do and when you need to do it.

How much will RUC for electric vehicles cost?

When you buy RUC you pre-pay for the distance you’re going to travel, in units of 1000km.

The RUC rate for electric vehicles will be $76 per 1000km unit.

The rate for PHEVs will be $53 per 1000km unit. This is lower because you already pay some fuel excise duty (FED) when you buy petrol. 

You'll also need to pay an admin fee, depending on how you buy your licence. The admin fee is $12.44 if you buy your licence online, or $13.71 at an agent. 

Why the exemption is ending

Electric vehicles have been exempt from RUC since 2009. The exemption was put in place until electric vehicles reached around 2 percent of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet. This point has now been reached, and there are around 100,000 light EVs on our roads, so the government has decided to let the exemption expire.

The end of the exemption means that electric vehicles will now contribute to the costs of the transport system in the same way as other vehicles.

Electric vehicles to pay road user charges - Beehive press release(external link)

Road user charges system - Ministry of Transport website(external link)