NZ waves road user charges for EVs and allows driving on bus lane

NZ waves road user charges for EVs and allows driving on bus lane

The authorities in New Zealand have announced that the owners of electric vehicles will not be required to pay road user charges (RUCs) and will also be allowed to drive in bus lanes.

The move is a part of a Government plan to increasethe number of electric vehicles in the country to a target of 64,000 by the year 2021. The country's Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced the special package for the electric vehicles in the country.Ministry of Transport figures showed that there are 1015 electric vehicles registered in New Zealand out of around 3.3 million cars and light commercial vehicles in the country. The data showed that this accounts for just 0.03 per cent of the total light-vehicle fleet.

The package includes $5 million for a period of five yearsto promote EV uptake and a $6 million contestable fund to encourage low emission vehicle projects. The government will allow electric vehicles to dive in bus and high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Owners will be able to benefit from a saving of around $600 a year on RUCs. The exemption will be related to private passenger vehicles and heavy vehicles running on electricity.

The minister is also planning to review ACC levies for plug-in hybrid EVs, look at establishment of Electric Vehicles Leadership Group from business, local and central government, and an instruction to the New Zealand Transport Agency to support the rollout of electric vehicles in the country.