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Clean Car Discount Drives Emissions To Record Low

Newly released Ministry of Transport data shows the emissions of newly registered cars hit a record low in November as Kiwis flocked to buy hybrids and EVs, says Better New Zealand Trust Chairperson Kathryn Trounson.

The average emissions of light passenger vehicles registered in November fell to a record low 109 grams per kilometre. That's a 38% reduction from the 176g/km average in June 2021, immediately before the Clean Car Discount began. Market share of hybrids and EVs hit a record 64% in November.

"With the help of the Clean Car Discount, Kiwis are flocking to buy low emissions cars. As a result, average emissions from newly registered vehicles have dropped 38% in just two and a half years. This is a huge climate success story for New Zealand," says Mrs Trounson.

"The Clean Car Discount is slashing our country's fuel use and our transport emissions. Every hybrid and EV imported today means we will buy less oil and put less carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air for decades to come. This makes us less reliant on international oil, fights climate change, and protects the health of thousands of New Zealanders who would otherwise die as a result of pollution linked to our use of fossil fuels for transport.

"There is not even a fiscal argument for cancelling the Clean Car Discount anymore. Since the fees and rebates were adjusted in July, the programme has brought in $33m more than its paid out in rebates. Why would a government trying to balance the books want to force New Zealand taxpayers to cover the cost of ending this programme?

"We implore the Government not to abandon this successful, popular policy on ideological grounds. If the Government has genuine concerns, it should take the time to have a proper conversation with the public and the industry about how to make it better, rather than rushing through legislation to repeal the programme before Christmas," says Mrs Trounson.

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