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MIA Welcomes Lower RUC Rate For PHEVs

The Motor Industry Association (MIA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Transport Hon Simeon Brown of a reduced road user charge (RUC) rate for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) of $38 per 1,000km, or half the full RUC rate.

Pending regulations had proposed that this rate be $53 per 1,000km, or two-thirds the full RUC rate of $76 per 1,000km, but analysis showed that this would result in PHEV owners paying more in road user charges (including petrol tax) than comparable hybrid vehicles.

MIA Chief Executive Officer Aimee Wiley says “The MIA and other industry associations had submitted to the Select Committee deliberating the regulations that this would be iniquitous and proposed a lower figure. We are pleased that the Select Committee has heard these submissions and recommended a reduced rate which the government has accepted.”

“Based on average fuel consumption of new petrol hybrid vehicles sold in the last two years, MIA analysis showed that at the initial proposed RUC rate, a PHEV would pay 70% more than an equivalent hybrid petrol vehicle, and a full battery electric vehicle (BEV) would pay 95% more.

“This would unfairly disadvantage owners of PHEVs, whose battery range can vary according to model and age, and potentially discourage the uptake of these low-emissions vehicles and undermine progress to reduce transport emissions.”

“The MIA recommended instead that the RUC rate for both PHEVs and BEVs be benchmarked to the average contribution of equivalent petrol-engined vehicles and not the full RUC rate. The requested reduction in RUC rates was jointly supported by wider industry as a more equitable interim solution until such time as RUC is universally applied to all light vehicles in the New Zealand fleet.

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“So, whilst the MIA is pleased with the lower RUC rate for PHEVs, we are disappointed that a fairer rate has not been introduced for BEVs also, as the higher rate will likely discourage some buyers. BEV and PHEV uptake can play a critical role in achieving our climate targets; reducing the health impacts on New Zealand from air pollution; and contributing to a more productive economy built on domestic renewable energy which will ultimately bring down household energy costs.”

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