National leader Christopher Luxon has continued his party's attack on Labour's 'ute tax' despite a fully electric ute now able to be pre-ordered in Aotearoa for the first time.
The former Air New Zealand CEO told AM that the big problem with the tax - a tariff under the Clean Car Discount package for buying new non-electric vehicles (EVs) - was there were "no alternatives".
Last year, 40,000 utes were sold in New Zealand, with the best selling models now attracting a penalty of approximately $3000 as the Government tries to encourage an uptake in EV purchases.
A rebate of up to $8625 is offered to people who purchase a new EV under the scheme.
"What are you supposed to buy?," Luxon asked AM host Ryan Bridge.
"Despite Michael Wood saying they're here, they're not here. They don't have the range, there's just no alternative and I just think that's not right, that's not fair."
He said it wasn't a "smart move" with the "cost of living crisis" ongoing.
While Luxon may be technically correct that they're not here just yet, LDV has already announced that Aotearoa's first fully electric ute is available to pre-order by making a deposit of just $1000, with delivery expected in "Summer 2022".
The EV T60 has a maximum range of 325km, and has a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor offering rear-wheel drive.
An LDV spokesperson told Stuff.co.nz they travelled from Auckland to Taupo with a full charge and arrived with 70km left in the battery, indicating that range was achievable on New Zealand roads.
However when the ute is being used to tow, the range is significantly reduced, the company says. The EV T60 is rated to just 1000kg, which the company says will cut the range by 50 percent.
The motor offers 130KW of power and a maximum torque of 310Nm.
Final pricing for New Zealand has yet to be confirmed.
While Luxon is concerned about the lack of electric utes, he admitted he had a Tesla Model 3 EV in addition to a diesel car and is very happy with it.
"I've got to say they're fantastic cars and I think ultimately the New Zealand public will realise electric vehicles over the long run are actually a great option," he said.