Greens want tax breaks for electric cars

  • 05/11/2015
Greens co-leader James Shaw (File)
Greens co-leader James Shaw (File)

The Greens have announced a policy they say would increase the number of electric cars on the roads, save money and cut pollution.

The party wants tax breaks for businesses that choose electric cars for their staff, or provide staff with public transport passes to get to and from work.

"By dramatically increasing the number of new EVs (electric vehicles) in New Zealand, we'll pave the way for a large second-hand EV market, putting clean cars within almost everyone's reach in a few years," co-leader James Shaw said today.

"By accelerating the shift to EVs and better use of public transport, we'll save businesses money, clean up the environment and help reduce New Zealand's $6 billion annual oil importing bill."

He says the Greens also want the government to change its vehicle fleet to EVs.

Under the policy, EVs would be exempt from fringe benefit tax.

Mr Shaw says that would provide a big incentive for companies to swap their petrol and diesel cars for EVs.

"It will decrease the upfront cost of purchasing an EV by up to 36 percent, with ongoing savings fort as long as the business keeps the car," he said.

Public transport passes for staff would also be exempt from fringe benefit tax.

Mr Shaw says that would save companies the cost of providing carparks for staff.

"Pollution from transport makes up 20 percent of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions, and road transport is the cause of 90 percent of this," Mr Shaw said.

"To play our part in the global effort to prevent climate change, we must reduce emissions from road transport."