Greens: 'No incentive' to buy electric cars

  • 06/05/2016
Transport Minister Simon Bridges is under fire for the Govt's new e-cars package (Newshub.)
Transport Minister Simon Bridges is under fire for the Govt's new e-cars package (Newshub.)

The Greens are disappointed with the Government's moves to encourage the uptake of electric cars.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced a package of measures on Thursday, saying electric cars were the way of the future.

The measures include road user charge exemptions and a nationwide information campaign, but the Greens say there's nothing there that makes it easier for households to afford them.

"It's very disappointing, there are no new tax breaks, there are no real incentives," said the Greens' Julie Anne Genter.

"If you want to make it easier for people to purchase electric vehicles, a tax break at point of purchase would be the way to do it."

Ms Genter says 80 percent of new cars coming into the country are company cars, and they should be exempt from fringe benefit tax for seven years.

"That would cut at least $8000 off a $40,000 electric vehicle, and we would also require that 20 percent of new Government cars be electric within seven years," she said.

Those cars would then be sold, creating a second hand market for households.

Mr Bridges disputed the Greens' claims, saying there will be plenty of financial incentive to buy an electric car.

"If you're in a diesel car or a car that's not paying tax at the pump… by definition you can, and I suppose you should conventionally pay road user charges. That's about $600 a year. We're saying that's off electric vehicles."

The Government is also offering to help businesses who want to buy electric cars in bulk.

"We want the Government to have skin in the game here… I think if we can do that, we can get a better range of cars and we can get a lower price."

NZN / Newshub.