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What you need to know

Transport emissions are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand and account for 20% of all the emissions we produce. Nearly 70% of all transport CO2 emissions are from cars, SUVs, utes, vans and light trucks.

We need to significantly improve their fuel efficiency and reduce their emissions in order to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The Clean Car Standard will ensure our market has a good supply of low and zero CO2 emission light vehicles with up-to-date technology for New Zealanders to buy.

This work forms part of wider set of transport-related climate response actions under the Government’s Emission Reduction Plan. 

Each month we publish a range of information that shows the progress of these polices. These include: 

Are you a vehicle importer? You may be interested in the Clean Car Standard forecasting tool.

The work to date


Proactive release 11 July 2024

These documents relate to the Government’s decisions on the outcome of the review of the Clean Car Importer Standard. These decisions included setting the Standard’s annual CO2 targets for 2025–2029.

More information and related documents
Dec 2023

Repeal of the Clean Car Discount scheme

The Government has passed legislation repealing the Clean Car Discount scheme by 31 December 2023.

The Clean Car Discount started in 2021 to provide rebates and charges based on carbon emissions for new and used vehicle imports. Repealing the scheme means that:

  • charges end for all vehicles registered after 11.59 pm on 31 December 2023
  • rebate applications will also close after 11.59 pm on 31 December 2023.

The relevant legislation is found at the Land Transport (Clean Vehicle Discount Scheme Repeal) Amendment Act 2023.

More information is available on the NZTA website.

More information and related documents
Oct 2023

Proactive release 17 October 2023

These relate to Clean Car Discount policy changes which came into effect July 2023.

More information and related documents
May 2023

Changes to the Clean Car Discount agreed for 1 July 2023

Due to the increased popularity of zero and low emission vehicles purchases, Clean Car Discount rebates and charges will change for vehicles registered from 1 July 2023.

More information and related documents
Feb 2023

Amendment to the Ministerial Direction

Under section 103 of the Crown Entities Act (CEA) 2004 the Minister of Transport directed the New Zealand Transport Agency to give effect to government policy in the administration of rebates under the Clean Vehicle Discount Scheme.

More information
Jan 2023

Proactive release 19 January 2023

Below are the documents proactively realeased on the 19th of January 2023.

More information and related documents
Jun 2021

Clean Car Discount Announced

The Government has announced new measures to take action on reducing transport emissions to help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target.

More information and related documents
Mar 2022

Clean Vehicles Act Passed

The Clean Car Standard and Clean Car Discount were announced in 2021 but aspects weren’t able to be confirmed or enforced until the Clean Vehicles Act came into force in February 2022. The Clean Vehicles Act primarily amends the Land Transport Act 1998 and Land Transport Management Act 2003.  


The Clean Car Discount Scheme -- encourages demand for low and zero emission vehicles. 

From 1 April 2022, charges will be imposed on high emitting vehicles, and rebates given to low-emitting ones. This will be done on a sliding scale. This is an expansion of the Discount Scheme that started on 1 July 2021 and provided rebates to buyers of battery electric and plugin-hybrid vehicles. 

Charges on high emission vehicles act as a purchase disincentive and will fund rebates for zero and low emission vehicles. Vehicles with neither very low nor high emissions will not be subject to rebates nor charges (explained in the graphic below).  

  • More information for consumers and vehicle dealers is available from the Waka Kotahi Clean Car Website. This includes an online form to apply for a clean car rebate. 
  • The RightCar website provides a searchable database of vehicles by type, make, model, or number plate. This allows you to look up the CO2 emissions, and what rebate or charge could apply to different vehicles, if you become the first registered owner of that vehicle. 
  • The applicable charges, and vehicles excluded from the charges are set out in the Clean Vehicle Discount Scheme Charges Regulations which come into force on 1 April 2022.  

The Clean Car Standard -- encourages supply of low and zero emission vehicles.  

Part 13 of the Land Transport Act 1998 (as amended by the Clean Vehicles Act) sets out the legislative framework for the Clean Vehicle Standard, including: 

  • Targets for reducing CO2 emissions – CO2 targets for vehicle importers apply from 2023 and will strengthen significantly each year through to 2027. CO2 targets for 2028 and later years may be set later by regulation.   
  • Charges – imposed on vehicle importers who fail to achieve targets, and which rise over time.  
  • Banking, borrowing, and transferring CO2  – limited methods that a vehicle importer can avoid charges if they cannot reach their CO2 target 
  • Variations by vehicle type and weight - stricter targets apply for passenger cars than do for commercial vehicles (utes and vans). The Clean Vehicle Standard 2022 Regulations were made on 1 November 2022 and prescribe formulas for the weight adjustment of targets, specify the types of vehicles excluded from the policy, and other details related to CO2 accounts.  
  • Compliance regimes – importers can either be assessed on an annual or per-vehicle basis. 
  • Timing - from December 2022, importers of vehicles must have a CO2 account with Waka Kotahi in order to progress vehicles through entry certification. This ensures systems are in place to monitor importers against targets from January 2023. 
  • The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Act (No 2) passed on 25 November 2022 and provides a 6-month phase-in period for charges and transfers, and, clarifies that motorcycles and mopeds are not part of the Clean Car Standard.
  • More information for vehicle dealers is available from the Waka Kotahi Clean Car Standard Webpage.”  

Other legislative changes 

Further Information 

Feb 2021

Cabinet decisions on the changes sought by the vehicle industry to the proposed Clean Car Standard

Jan 2021

Introduction of carbon dioxide emission standard for imported new and used light vehicles announced

The Government agreed to introduce the Clean Car Standard – a Co2 emissions standard for imported new and used light vehicles. We expect legislation to implement the Clean Car Standard will be introduced in 2021, with the policy taking effect in 2022, although fees on suppliers will not apply until the beginning of 2023

More information and related documents
Jul 2019–Aug 2019

Clean Car Standard and Discount consultation

We consulted on the 2 proposals in July and August 2019. The Clean Car Standard is a vehicle carbon dioxide standard, or fuel efficiency standard. It would require vehicle importers to lower the carbon dioxide emissions of the vehicles they are importing. The Clean Car Discount is a feebate scheme that would make low emission vehicles, like electric vehicles and petrol hybrids, more affordable for Kiwis to buy.

More information and related documents

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