National to allow EVs in bus lanes, no road user charges for two years if elected

National want to give electric vehicle (EV) users a number of benefits to encourage their uptake and reduce vehicle emissions.

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National wants to allow EVs in bus lanes, and will extend the road user charge exemption for another two years. Source: 1 NEWS

If elected, the party promises to make EVs exempt from fringe benefit tax until 2025 and road user charges until 2023, allow EVs to use bus lanes and to set a target of 80,000 EVs on our roads by 2023. 

EV users are already exempt from road user charges until 2021. 

National also wanted to make a third of the Government light vehicle fleet electric by 2023. 

It's estimated to cost $93 million over four years. 

Leader Judith Collins said it would make "EVs cheaper and easier to own without unfairly taxing Kiwis". 

"We believe the future of transport in New Zealand will be zero emissions.

"Our ambitious and comprehensive plan will encourage the purchase of EVs, create a thriving second hand EV market, support sustainable transport infrastructure, and lower carbon emissions in New Zealand’s transport sector."

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National's transport spokesperson Chris Bishop said "transport emissions are the largest driver of increasing greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand, having doubled since 1990". 

"Exempting EVs from fringe benefit tax will significantly bolster the second-hand market by giving Kiwis access to NZ-new, longer range, late model EVs."

Yesterday, Labour promised to bring in a clean car standard for new and used light vehicles entering New Zealand of 105gCO2 /km.

When asked earlier today about the uptake of EVs in New Zealand, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said she anticipated that as the global market grows, prices would come down.

She said factors that were prohibitive to people buying EVs was the cost and anxiety around the number of charging stations around the country, adding that in Government they invested in EV charging infrastructure.

It would be phased in from 2021 to 2025. 

National said there was 15,000 vehicles classed in the Government's fleet and as of June 2020, only 208 were electric. 

Labour and NZ First's 2017 coalition agreement stated it would make the Government’s vehicle fleet, where practicable, emissions-free by 2025/26.

There are about 22,000 EVs in New Zealand.