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New Zealand grants new benefits for electric vehicle owners

Staff Writer |
Operators of electric vehicles (EVs) in New Zealand are set to benefit from rule changes which will see heavy electric vehicles exempt from road user charges and potentially allow drivers of electric vehicles to use bus and high occupancy lanes.

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Transport Minister Simon Bridges made the statement on Wednesday, announcing that from September 1, heavy EVs will be exempt from road user charges, which otherwise apply to vehicles that do not pay for petrol at the pump, until they make up 2 percent of New Zealand's heavy vehicle fleet.

Light EVs are already exempt from paying road user charges until Dec. 31, 2021. "On top of all of the other benefits that EVs generate, extending this exemption to heavy EVs will offer a significant cost reduction to the operators of these vehicles," Bridges said.

Changes have also been made to Land Transport rules, which from September 1, will enable road controlling authorities, such as the NZ Transport Agency and local and regional councils, to make bylaws to allow EVs access to special vehicle lanes, such as those dedicated to buses and high occupancy vehicles.

"The positive acceptance of EVs in New Zealand is having real benefits. We are now offering more choice in new EVs than ever before. We are also seeing an increase in the number of used EVs importers are bringing into the country," Bridges said.

"It is great that both private and public sector organisations are helping uptake by choosing EVs over conventional petrol or diesel vehicles for their fleets," he said.

Over the past year, an increase was also seen in businesses opting for EVs as non-passenger vehicles, including light vans for food delivery, public transport and refuse trucks, all of which are great uses for EVs, the minister said.

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