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The Motor Industry Association (MIA) has advocated for an equitable adjustment to the recent changes in road user charges (RUC) for electric vehicles (EVs).

MIA Chief Executive Aimee Wiley proposed a $60 per 1000km RUC for EVs rather than $76 and a $42 per 1000km RUC for hybrids instead of $53 with all GST included. These figures, Ms. Wiley emphasised, are grounded in averages calculated across the country’s new-vehicle fleet over the past two years.

This was a joint submission by a coalition of industry groups including the Motor Trade Association, Drive Electric, the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association, and the New Zealand Automobile Association, along with the car brands under the MIA’s umbrella.

“We believe every motorist has a responsibility to contribute their fair share toward New Zealand roading costs. EVs are no exception to this. However, we also believe that every motorist has the right for their share or contribution to be fair,” said Ms. Wiley.

“Linking the rate of the road user charges to the current light vehicle diesel RUC rate will have the unintended consequence, we believe, that EVs will be contributing more to the national land transport fund than the equivalent petrol cars,” she added.

The MIA’s stance supports a future transition to a RUC-for-all model, with Wiley noting, “Our recommendation and urgent request to the select committee today is to support road user charging rates to be adjusted as a temporary and more equitable solution until such time as the entire vehicle fleet can move to a RUC or distance-based tax system.”

“Here in New Zealand consumer perception has already started shifting to ‘penalty on a plug’,” she said.

She also highlighted the critical role of EVs in achieving national goals. “EVs play an absolutely critical role in New Zealand for us to achieve our climate targets, reducing our health impacts from air pollution, and the contribution to a productive growing economy,” she said.

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