The Clean Car Discount

by Frano Covic

All the information you need about 'The Clean Car Discount'

The rebate scheme announced in June 2021, is good news for anyone interested in buy a new or used EV.

Anyone buying a new electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle will stand to get back a $8625 rebate from the government from July 1, 2021. People buying a used imported electric vehicle, or similar low-emission vehicle, will be eligible for a rebate of up to $3450.

This was a joint announcement made by Minister of Climate Change James Shaw and Minister of Transport Michael Wood.

How will this low-emissions vehicles rebate scheme be funded you might want to know? By imposing levies on new and used high-emissions vehicles from January 1, 2022.

Transport Minister Wood said that by discounting clean cars and imposing levies on high-emissions vehicles, it will help prevent 9M tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year and also help consumers with the up-front costs when they make the switch from high- to low-emissions vehicles.

Changes made to the 'feebate' scheme

A previous policy implemented by the Transport Minister, the ‘feebate’ scheme, was put on permanent hold by objections made by the NZ First party.

Only vehicles that cost under $80,000 will make the buyer eligible for this new discount. Other criteria will also be used to assess eligibility for the scheme, such as vehicle safety. Climate Change Minister Shaw stated that the previous scheme laid the groundwork for the new policy. It was also announced that further fundamental shifts could be expected over the next few years regarding EV and hybrid vehicle rebates.

The Clean Car Discount Rebates

New EV : $8625

New PHEV : $5750

Used EV :  $3550

Used PHEV :  $2300

Steps to acquiring 'The Clean Car Discount' rebate

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3


Apply online

Get your rebate


·      New and used imports

·      New registration

·      Must have a 3-star safety rating or more

·      Costs less than $80,000 inclusive of on-road and GST

Registered owner applies online for rebate to Waka Kotahi.

You will need details of the safe agreement, number plate registration, and your bank account.

What happens after your online application has been processed?

Waka Kotahi transfers your rebate into the registered car owner’s bank account.

*EV = Battery Electric Vehicle / PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle / Subject to available funding / Figures inclusive of GST / Find your car’s safety rating at

Electric vehicle uptake

The government plans to setup a dedicated EV and PHEV sector leadership group. This is to help increase low-emissions vehicle uptake by implementing levies on high-emission vehicles by January, 2022.

New high-emissions vehicles will cost up to $5175 more to buy

Used imports, such as Toyota Hilux or Ford Ranger, will cost up to $2875 more to buy

The MIA Motor Industry Association has predicted that the announcement will lead to an increase in high-emissions vehicles imports and sales between now and when the new fees begin in January next year.

Also beginning from next year, some low-emissions petrol and diesel vehicles will be eligible for a small rebate in relation to the amount of their CO2 emissions. On average, 80% of the top ten most commonly bought cars in New Zealand with either be eligible for a rebate or unaffected by the new changes.

The significant benefits of owning an electric vehicle

  • Charging your electric vehicle at home at off-peak hours is the equivalent of buying petrol at 40-cents a litre.
  • You can change your electricity retailer for better rates and, therefore, cheaper transport costs.
  • Battery operated electric vehicles have fewer moving parts so there are less maintenance costs because less can go wrong.
  • It will soon be possible to charge electric vehicles every 75km on most state highways.

While the government recognises the need to go-slow with certain proposed levies that might end up penalising low-income earners, it is focused on motivating the transport and logistics sector to making the change to electric powered and hybrid vehicles in the shortest time feasible.

The government recognises every Kiwi’s dedication to making the country a greener, more productive country within the next twenty-five years.