light ev road user charges (RUC) exemption is coming to an end

New Zealand’s National Party appears unlikely to delay the termination of light (under 3500kg) EV road user charges (RUC) exemption , if it ascends to power in October 2023. This exemption is scheduled to end on March 31, 2024.

Meanwhile, heavy EVs will continue to enjoy the exemption until December 31, 2025.

Given the anticipated change, light EV owners might be facing a charge of about $76 per 1000km. The New Zealand Automobile Association has noted that the average motorist covers about 12,000km annually. This translates to an annual RUC of approximately $912 for light EV owners.

Former Transport Minister Simon Bridges initially introduced the light EV Road User Charges exemption in 2016 as an incentive for increased EV adoption. It was later extended by his successor, Michael Wood.

However, David Parker, the new Transport Minister, has stated that no further changes to the EV RUC are currently under consideration. National leader Christopher Luxon has supported this stance, suggesting the planned end to the exemption will likely proceed.

National’s Transport Spokesperson, Simeon Brown, has confirmed this, clarifying that the RUC exemption was designed as a temporary measure until EVs reached 2% of New Zealand’s total vehicle fleet. With EVs currently making up roughly 1.8% of the fleet, this target is nearly achieved.

Brown anticipates further announcements on National’s EV policy as the October 14 election approaches.

While the Automobile Association has expressed support for the government’s review of the EV RUC exemption, Green Party Transport Spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter believes it’s premature to phase out the exemption. According to Genter, the transition to low- and zero-emission vehicles in New Zealand’s fleet is still underway.

For further information about RUC, click here.