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New Zealand’s Clean Car Discount and its ‘Ute Tax’ have officially been repealed by the government.

In a press release, NZ Transport Minister Simeon Brown said, “The scheme, while offering subsidies for electric vehicle buyers, unfairly burdened hardworking farmers and tradies who rely on specific vehicles for work”.

“This inequity and fiscal irresponsibility were at the core of our decision to repeal it,” he added.

Minister Brown also highlighted the limitations faced by many drivers who require utes for work saying, “Under the scheme, they couldn’t evade charges as there were limited suitable alternatives that met their needs.”

The ‘Ute Tax’ charges were initially intended to offset rebates and administrative costs.

“Over $579 million went into rebates, $13.5 million covered administrative costs, but charges only amounted to $290 million, leaving taxpayers with a $302.5 million shortfall.”

The government, however, maintains its commitment to promoting and boosting EV ownership.

“We aim to boost EV adoption by enhancing charging infrastructure,” Minister Brown asserted.

“Our plan involves establishing a comprehensive, countrywide network of 10,000 public EV chargers by 2030, with a thorough focus on cost-benefit analysis.”

The repeal of the Clean Car Discount scheme applies to all vehicles registered from 11:59 PM on 31 December 2023. Rebate applications will close at the same time.

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