And they are about to pay road charges.
EVs (light electric vehicles) are increasingly becoming a popular choice for people in Hawke’s Bay with the number of registered EVs steadily rising in the last few years.
According to NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, there are two main types of EVs:
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – these are powered by a battery only.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – these have two engines – one powered by a battery that is charged externally, the other is fuel powered and generally uses petrol or diesel.
Conventional forms of petrol hybrids aren’t considered EVs as they aren’t charged by ‘plugging in’. In these vehicles, the batteries are only charged by re-capturing energy when braking or from electricity generated by the engine.
In Hawke’s Bay the total number of EVs actively registered has grown from 753 (December 2021) to 2,026 (December 2023).
Broken down by Territorial Authority the total number of BEVs and PHEVs registered currently are:
Central Hawke’s Bay District: BEVs (Full Battery Electric) 75, PHEVs 51
Hastings District: BEVs 686, PHEVs 339
Napier City: BEVs 568, PHEVs 275
Wairoa District: BEVs 17, PHEVs 15
Unfortunately, the owners will have to dig deep in their pockets with the coalition Government confirming the exemption from road user charges (RUC) for owners of EVs will end from April 1.
Petrol tax and distance-based RUC were paid by road users to contribute to the costs of maintaining the roads, but EVs had been exempted from RUC.
“Transitioning EVs and plug-in hybrids to RUC is the first step in delivering on the National-ACT coalition commitment to bring all vehicles into the RUC system,” Transport Minister Simeon Brown said.
“This transition to RUC is about fairness and equity. It will ensure that all road users are contributing the upkeep and maintenance of our roads, irrespective of the type of vehicle they choose to drive.
“Plug-in hybrids are powered by electricity and petrol and have had to pay petrol tax, but not to the same level as petrol equivalent vehicles. To ensure that plug-in hybrids avoid paying twice through both fuel excise duty and RUCs, these vehicles will pay a reduced rate RUC.”
Owners of light EVs, including plug-in hybrids, will need to buy a RUC licence from April 1.
Owners of BEVs will pay $76 per 1000 kilometres, in line with equivalent diesel-powered vehicles.
Owners of plug-in hybrid vehicles will pay a reduced rate of $53 per 1000 kilometres so that they are not double taxed when paying Fuel Excise Duty. The partial rate of $53 per 1,000 kilometres assumes that on average, a plug-in hybrid will consume petrol at a rate of just under 3 litres per 100 kilometres.
NZTA will be informing BEV and plug-in hybrid owners about the transition to RUCs and what it will mean for them. There will be a two-month transition period to allow time for people to get registered in the RUC system without being penalised for unpaid RUC.
As part of this outreach, each BEV and plug-in hybrid owner will receive a letter prior to April 1 that will explain the RUC process. The first time an EV owner buys their RUC licence they need to give their odometer reading.
Whenever a warrant of fitness is undertaken, a vehicle’s odometer will be reviewed. If the odometer exceeds the RUCs purchased by the vehicle’s owner, they will be invoiced for any difference.
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