EV Rebate – Clean Car Discount

EV Rebate graph

EV Rebate – Clean Car Discount

The Clean Car Discount (EV Rebate) was introduced on Sunday 13 June 2021. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions of light vehicles in Aotearoa New Zealand. Its objective is to make it more affordable to buy low CO2 emission options by making their cost more comparable to petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles.

The Clean Car Discount will apply only to new and used vehicles registered in Aotearoa New Zealand for the first time.

Vehicles with a purchase price of $80,000 or more (including GST and on-road costs) and those with less than a 3-star safety rating (as published on the Rightcar website) will not be eligible for a discount (rebate).

clean car discount infographic

Fossil fuel fees

Unfortunately, this initiative does not go far enough to reduce vehicle emissions quicker. ‘Fees’ for all fossil-fuel powered vehicles should be significantly increased without delay.

This means any vehicle with emissions above zero CO2 should have substantial fees applied immediately. The Ford Ranger, NZ’s best selling car, emits CO2 gas 169 gram/km, at best. This vehicle will be polluting for about the next 20 years, that is until around 2041! How can this be acceptable in 2021?

Ebikes excluded

Furthermore, this rebate scheme simply encourages the use of cars. It fails to incentivise other sustainable forms of transport. For example, ebikes (power-assisted pedal cycles) and electric motorbikes.

Instead of offering discounts for large, and often unnecessary cars, we should be encouraging the uptake of more environmentally transportation, like bicycles, ebikes and scooters.


To conclude, yes, the Clean Car Discount is a good small step in the right direction. The rebate scheme will persuade some to turn away from fossil fuel powered cars. However, it falls well short of the steps we actually need to take, to reduce our transportation emissions, and achieve our targets. Let us this is the beginning, and we’ll see more green policies put into action soon.

clean car programme overview
Sources and further reading

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By Paul

Hi, I'm an EV enthusiast, EV owner and founder of Kāpiti Electric Vehicle Society (KEVS). I'm always interested to hear from individuals, companies and organisations who are prospering from using electric vehicles. Get in touch via the contact page.