New Zealand threatens EV owners with fines over new road user charges

Electric vehicle owners in NZ face fines if they fail to buy a road user charges licence by month's end.

New Zealand threatens EV owners with fines over new road user charges
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New Zealand is cracking down on EV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners who fail to purchase a road user charges (RUC) licence before the end of the month, with fines and penalties on the horizon.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) announced that EVs and PHEVs have been subject to RUC since April 1, 2024. Owners must secure their first licence by May 31 to avoid penalties.

"If you haven't already bought your licence, now's the time to do it," warned NZTA head of regulatory programmes, Tara Macmillan. The agency stresses the importance of timely compliance, warning of potential roadside police infringements and backdated invoices from NZTA for those who miss the deadline.

"Buying a licence is quick and easy to do online via the NZTA website. If online is not an option, you can also buy over the counter at an NZTA agent," Macmillan said.

RUC rates are set at $76 per 1000km for EVs and $38 per 1000km for PHEVs, the latter benefiting from already paying tax through petrol. An additional administration fee applies: $12.44 online or $13.71 through an agent.

Macmillan noted that over two-thirds of New Zealand's 105,000 EV and PHEV owners have already complied.

Previously exempt from RUC since 2009, EVs and PHEVs must now contribute like other road users, with the funds supporting road upkeep. Petrol users contribute via pump taxes, while diesel and other vehicles prepay RUC.

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