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New Zealand is set to introduce a road-user tax for electric vehicles (EVs) beginning 31 March 2024. This is to recover lost revenue from petrol excise which is typically used to fund road upgrades and maintenance. 

According to the New Zealand Government, EVs and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) weighing less than 3500 kg will be required to pay the new tax based on the distance they travel.  

Reports say that the RUC rate will likely be similar to that applied to diesel vehicles which is $NZ0.076 per kilometre ($AU0.073/km). 

Meanwhile, traditional hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles, together with EVs weighing more than 3500 kg will be exempt from the RUC until 2026 only. 

 Eventually, according to the government, all vehicles will be required to pay the distance-based charge. 

Furthermore, petrol excise is expected to increase by 12 NZ cents over the next three years, from its current rate of around 70 NZ cents per litre. 

These changes are expected to contribute $NZ5 billion ($AU4.6 billion) to the country’s transport fund. 

As of July 2023, electric passenger vehicles make up 14 per cent of new vehicles sold in New Zealand. This is due to the Clean Car Discount—a sliding scale rebate that charges high-polluting vehicles like Utes, SUVs, and four-wheel-drives with higher sales taxes which are then passed on discounts to new PHEVs and EVs. 

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