Electric Vehicles to Incur Road User Charges: The government in New Zealand just announced that starting April 1st, owners of light electric vehicles (like electric cars) and plug-in hybrids will no longer be exempt from road user charges. The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is sharing more information about how this change will affect vehicle owners.
Starting April 1st, electric vehicle (EV) owners in New Zealand must purchase a Road User Charges (RUC) license and place it on their car windshield. They can buy the license online through the NZTA website or in person at an NZTA agent. Although EV owners cannot purchase the RUC license before April 1st, they have until May 31st to buy it without facing any penalties.
In New Zealand, everyone who uses the roads helps support their maintenance. Most people contribute through fuel taxes at the gas station (known as fuel excise duty), while others, like those with diesel vehicles, pay road user charges based on distance traveled.
The money from fuel excise duty and road user charges goes to the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), which is used for keeping up and enhancing the country’s roads.
Electric vehicle (EV) owners have been exempt from paying road user charges since 2009. This exemption was in place until the number of EVs reached about 2 percent of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet. Now, with approximately 100,000 light EVs on the roads, the government has decided to end the exemption.
This means that EV owners will now contribute to the transportation system’s costs, just like owners of other vehicles.
How much EV owners will need to pay
When someone purchases Road User Charges (RUC), they’re essentially paying in advance for the distance they plan to travel, and this is measured in units of 1000 kilometers.
For light electric vehicles (EVs), the RUC rate will be $76 for every 1000 kilometers. For plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), the rate will be $53 for every 1000 kilometers, acknowledging that PHEVs also pay taxes in the price of their petrol.
The first time an EV owner buys their RUC license, they’ll have to provide their odometer reading at the time of purchase. If the odometer reading is found to be inaccurate during the vehicle’s next warrant of fitness (WOF), the owner may receive an invoice for any difference.