National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has come out swinging in terms of the Party’s stance on EV charging and EV rebates, and reiterates his intention to axe the ute tax.
While out campaigning in Christchurch, National Leader announced his intention to ‘supercharge’ NZ’s EV charging network by adding 10,000 new chargers (ten times more than current – pun intended).
He said National would invest $257m over four years to build the chargers, and revive the “highly successful” Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) funding model, which blended public and private sector investment.
It’s a statement that ChargeNet CEO, Danusia Wypych has welcomed, saying that efforts to strengthen and diversify EV market growth, as well as charging infrastructure in New Zealand must be maintained as the cost of an EV approaches price parity with internal combustion vehicles within the next five years. Private capital is ready to lead, and effective public funding amplifies and accelerates that investment.
“I have recently returned from a European market insights tour, where there is a public charger for approximately every 10 EVs on the road. In New Zealand, that ratio is closer to one charger for every 100 EVs.”
Adding “Kiwis won’t switch to an EV if they are anxious about whether they will be able to recharge it when and where they need to. Under the Labour Government, investment in public EV infrastructure has not kept pace with the rising number of EVs and New Zealand now has the fewest public chargers per electric vehicle in the OECD.”
Luxon also reiterated National’s promise to axe Labour’s ‘ute tax’, the clean car discount which subsidises EV purchases by taxing polluting cars. He says that the policy has been successful at driving uptake of EVs, but the tax component of it has been unpopular.
“Supercharging EV Infrastructure is part of National’s plan to rebuild the economy. After six years of Labour’s economic mismanagement, the economy is in recession, wages haven’t been keeping up with inflation and mortgage rates are hitting Kiwis in the back pocket,” Luxon said.
Although evidently in favour of more EV charger’s ChargeNet’s position on National’s proposed removal of the Clean Car Discount is a little less bullish.
Danusia Wypych says the Clean Car Discount has been a highly effective tool to stimulate the market and encourage people to make the transition. The timing of National’s policy to remove the Clean Car Discount could be delayed to optimise the support for individuals and industry.
“While we’re now at a point where EVs are a mainstream purchasing consideration, there is still a few years to go before EVs reach price parity with internal combustion vehicles. The removal of the Clean Car Discount is premature, as it may deter some drivers from making the switch, and slow down the growth of the market,” she says.
“With that said, EVs already make sound economic sense. They cost much, much less to “fill up” – the average cost of home charging to get to 100% is around $5, depending on your electricity provider, and the average charging session costs around $15 – $25. By comparison, an internal combustion vehicle currently costs around $160 to fill up. That’s a huge difference in running cost, and in addition to that EVs require less maintenance, so the overall lifetime cost benefits are far greater.
“We’re confident that EV adoption can and will continue even if the Clean Car Discount is removed, however it will be an important tool to encourage growth as a second-hand market for EVs continues to develop.”
So if you’ve been thinking about buying a sub$80k EV, you’ll probably want to give your favourite EV dealer a call sooner rather than later to claim your rebate while you still can – but read our reviews first so you get the right one!