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Source: New Zealand Parliament

The bill would aim to increase the supply and variety of zero- and low-emission vehicles available to buyers by applying a clean vehicle standard to importers of new and used light vehicles. Only new and used vehicles arriving in New Zealand weighing under 3500kg would be subject to this proposed legislation, so existing second-hand market vehicles will not be affected.

The clean vehicle standard would require importers to meet carbon dioxide emissions targets, based on the emissions of the vehicles they import. The bill would impose charges on importers who do not meet the applicable carbon dioxide emissions target. However, importers would be allowed to transfer carbon dioxide credits to other importers, bank any overachievement of a target for future use, and defer an obligation until the following year (for new vehicle importers only) to help them meet the target.

The bill would expand the existing clean vehicle discount scheme—established in July 2021—to include a wider range of eligible low emissions vehicles, and include charges on higher emissions vehicles. The scheme would encourage the purchase of these vehicles through rebates, and discourage the purchase of higher emission vehicles through imposing charges.

The bill would also ensure new vehicles are labelled to inform New Zealanders about vehicle emissions levels and the rebates or charges that would apply if they were to buy the vehicle.