Government's Clean Car Discount proves successful with record number of electric vehicles bought last month

The Clean Car Discount appears to be having a major influence on the vehicles people are buying.

More than a quarter of all new cars bought in December 2022 were fully electric which was a record for electric vehicles.

However the National Party has warned the Government may need to raise its ute tax to fuel the popular discounts.

David Jensen absolutely loves his EV (electric vehicle).

"I call her blue because of her lovely blue colour," Jensen said

He purchased the all-electric beauty in 2022, thanks to the Government's Clean Car Discount contribution. 

"For me, it was $8600 which when buying an EV does make a difference," Jensen said.

He's one of many Kiwis making the switch to a greener car. 

In December 2022, just over 20 percent of all new vehicles were fully electric which was a record. 

That same month more than a quarter of new passenger cars - which doesn't include vans and utes - were fully electric, which was also a record.

Overall in the new vehicle market, which is where we've have seen the most growth in EVs, electric vehicle sales have shot up from 6 percent of sales in 2021 to 15 percent in 2022.

"We have definitely been behind the rest of the world in our rate of change but now we are really catching up," Motor Industry Association CEO David Crawford said.

A win the Government's claiming victory for. 

"The proof is in the pudding," Associate Transport Minister Kieran McAnulty said.

The EV discount comes from taxing big gas-guzzling vehicles - but because the policy has become so popular, National's warned the Government will either have to lower the discount or hike the ute tax.

"The Government needs to be upfront and honest with Kiwis about what they are going to do. Are they going to increase the tax on hardworking farmers and tradies, or reduce the subsidies, or both?" National's transport spokesperson Simeon Brown asked.

McAnulty said: "It's obviously proven to be very successful and popular, but we've also said it needs to be self-sufficient and so the Minister in charge of it, Michael Wood, is constantly looking into that."

For now the discount stays, delighting EV drivers like Jensen.