Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Skip to main content Skip to page navigation

What you need to know

Electric vehicles (EVs) are vehicles that run on electricity and which can be plugged in to recharge. They can be powered solely by electric batteries, known as pure electric vehicles, or a combination of batteries and a conventional engine, called plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The Government is keen to support the uptake of electric vehicles alongside other low-emission forms of transport. Electric vehicles will not only help us to reduce climate damaging emissions but also reduce harmful local air pollution. Supporting the uptake of electric vehicles also supports the Government’s overall drive towards a net-zero emissions economy.

The work to date

Oct 2023

National electric vehicle charging strategy

On 6 October 2023, Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport released ‘Charging our future: National electric vehicle charging strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand 2023–2035’.

The strategy outlines the Government’s long-term strategic vision for a national electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure that can support a growing EV fleet, while helping New Zealand meet its climate commitments.

The strategy was informed by consultation on a draft EV charging strategy in May 2023.

More information and related documents
Jul 2021

Road user charges exemption for light electric vehicles extended until 31 March 2024

To continue to encourage the uptake of light electric vehicles, their owners do not need to pay road user charges until 31 March 2024.

More information and related documents
Jan 2021

Introduction of CO2 emission standard for imported new and used light vehicles announced

To increase the uptake of electric and low emission vehicles, the Government agreed to introduce the Clean Car Standard – a Co2 emissions standard for imported new and used light vehicles.

Clean Cars

More information
May 2020

EV Leadership Group disestablished

When the group was established, EVs were in the early phase of adoption. With an increasing number of EVs on our roads and wider work across government to reduce carbon emissions, the group’s focus had become too narrow, and so it was disestablished.

More information
Sep 2017

Road User Charges (RUC) exemption for heavy electric vehicles took effect

The Energy Innovation (Electric Vehicles and Other Matters) Amendment Act included legislation to introduce an RUC exemption for heavy electric vehicles such as buses and trucks, until they make up 2% of the heavy vehicle fleet.

More information
Jul 2017

ACC levy reduction takes effect

ACC levy rates for 2017/18 and 2018/19 meant owners of all EVs paid reduced ACC levies as part of their annual vehicle licensing. This reflected a saving of around NZD$68 each year for EV owners. The changes took effect on 1 July 2017.

More information
Jun 2017

EVs access to special vehicle lanes came into effect

The Energy Innovation (Electric Vehicles and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017 amended the Land Transport Act 1998 to allow Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs) to make bylaws to identify EVs as a class of vehicle that can access special vehicle lanes. This also required changes to the Road User Rule and the Traffic Control Devices Rule. The rule changes were progressed separately under section 152A of the Land Transport Act 1998.

More information
May 2017

EV charging guidance published

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency worked closely with local and central government agencies, power companies, technology providers and the motor industry to develop and publish guidance on public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

More information
Jan 2017

First round of contestable fund projects announced

The Government established a contestable fund of NZD$6 million to support projects that encourage innovation and investment in EVs and other low emissions vehicles in New Zealand.

More information
Sep 2016

Road user charges exemption extended

On 22 September 2016, the RUC exemption for light electric vehicles was extended until 31 December 2021. This saves the average electric vehicle driver approximately NZD$600 per vehicle each year.

More information
Aug 2016

Leadership group established

In August 2016, the Minister of Transport established an Electric Vehicles Programme Leadership Group across business, local and central government, to champion the programme and promote the initiatives within it. Its initial intent was to find out what stops people buying EVs and recommend ways to remove those barriers.

More information
May 2016

Programme announced

On 5 May 2016, the Government announced its Electric Vehicles Programme. This included measures to increase the number of electric vehicles in New Zealand with a goal of reaching approximately 64,000 electric vehicles on our roads by the end of 2021.

More information and related documents

Get in touch