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New Zealand electric vehicles owners to pay road user charges

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Wellington, Jan 16 (IANS) The New Zealand government said on Tuesday that exemption from road user charges (RUC) for owners of light electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids will end from April 1.

“Petrol tax and distance-based RUC are paid by road users to contribute to the costs of maintaining our roads, but EVs and plug-in hybrids have been exempted from RUC,” said Transport Minister Simeon Brown.

Transitioning EVs and plug-in hybrids to RUC is to bring all vehicles into the RUC system, Brown said, adding it will ensure that all road users are contributing the upkeep and maintenance of roads, irrespective of the type of vehicle they choose to driven, reports Xinhua news agency.

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 of RUC, he said.

EVs have been exempted from paying RUC to increase their uptake, which will end when EVs hit around 2 per cent of the light vehicle fleet in New Zealand, the Minister added.

–IANS

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