Electric Vehicles Programme

Last updated: 24 February 2021

In May 2016, the Minister of Transport announced a package of measures to increase the uptake of EVs in New Zealand to remove barriers that have prevented households and business from choosing EVs. Current barriers to EV uptake include the limited selection of models available; a lack of widespread public charging infrastructure; and lack of awareness about Evs.     

The Electric Vehicles Programme includes:  

  • A target of doubling the number of electric vehicles in New Zealand every year to reach approximately 64,000 by 2021;
  • Extending the Road User Charges exemption on light electric vehicles until they make up two percent of the light vehicle fleet;
  • A new Road User Charges exemption for heavy electric vehicles until they make up two percent of the heavy vehicle fleet;
  • Work across Government and the private sector to investigate the bulk purchase of electric vehicles;
  • Government agencies coordinating activities to support the development and roll-out of public charging infrastructure including providing information and guidance;
  • $1 million annually for a nation-wide electric vehicle information and promotion campaign over five years (delivered by EECA);
  • A contestable fund of up to $7 million per year to encourage and support innovative low emission vehicle projects (delivered by EECA - see separate entry);
  • Allowing electric vehicles in bus lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the State Highway network and local roads;
  • Review of tax depreciation rates and the method for calculating fringe benefit tax for electric vehicles to ensure electric vehicles are not being unfairly disadvantaged; and
  • Establishing an electric vehicles leadership group across business, local and central government.   


The package aims to address barriers to the uptake of electric vehicles, including the limited supply of models in New Zealand, lack of awareness and misconceptions about electric vehicles, and a lack of widespread public charging infrastructure.  A number of agencies (namely Ministry of Transport, NZTA, Worksafe New Zealand, MBIE, and ECCA) are involved in delivering this programme.

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