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Electric Vehicles and Drive Electric Update

Electric Vehicles and Drive Electric Update

Photo of Annette Azuma

Update by
Annette J. Azuma 
Business Advice, Director, Staples Rodway Auckland 

Major changes have happened since our Spring 2015 issue of NUMBERS, where we reported on Drive Electric, an incorporated society which works to promote electric vehicles (EVs) in New Zealand. Those changes affect both the electric vehicle industry in New Zealand and Drive Electric.

Readers may recall that New Zealand is one of the best-placed countries in the world for the intro-duction of EVs because of our reliance on electricity generated from renewable sources. EVs have many positive benefits including reducing New Zealand’s carbon emissions and improving the country’s balance of payments by reducing oil imports.

The New Zealand Government announced its Electric Vehicles Programme on 5 May 2016 with the aim of increasing usage of EVs in New Zealand. The Electric Vehicles Programme targets doubling the number of electric vehicles throughout New Zealand every year to reach approximately 64,000 by the year 2021.

The EV Leadership Group was announced by Simon Bridges on 24 August 2016 – members include Drive Electric Chair Mark Gilbert and Drive Electric board member Gary Nalder.

Drive Electric is entering a new and exciting phase with the proposed appointment of several new board members. The diverse board will cover all key industries within the EV space – including power companies, new motor vehicle dealerships, charging infrastructure, finance, fleet companies and environmental specialists. Staples Rodway continues to support Drive Electric with pro-bono work and with Auckland Director Annette Azuma continuing on the board.

You can read more about Drive Electric at and further information about the Electric Vehicles Programme can be found by visiting

  • Extending the existing Road User Charges exemption for light electric vehicles
  • Introducing a new Road User Charges exemption for heavy electric vehicles
  • Work across Government and the private sector to investigate co-ordinated bulk purchasing of EVs 
  • Support the development and roll-out of a public charging infrastructure
  • A nation-wide EV information and promotion campaign
  • A contestable fund of up to $6 million per year to support innovation
  •  Enabling EVs to access bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes
  • Review of tax depreciation rates and the method for calculating fringe benefit tax for electric vehicles 
  • Review ACC levies for plug-in hybrid EV
  • Establishment of an EV Leadership Group

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