Updated: Apr 5
The Clean Car Discount introduced fees for high emitting vehicles from April 1st 2022 with rebates remaining for zero or low emitting vehicles. These incentives to purchase vehicles with lower emissions are part of the overall plan for New Zealand to be net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As transport is the biggest contributor, the pressure is on to reduce this sector in particular. Vehicle manufacturers are also supporting this by producing more electric vehicles, many aiming to only produce EVs by 2030.
Below are the top 10 vehicles for Kiwis based on 2021 sales. Using rightcar.co.nz we can assess what rebates or fees these vehicles will receive under the new framework and how much this will be if brought new. Fees and rebates will be less for used imports.
10. Maxda CX5
Emissions: 161-191 g/km
The Mazda CX5 had 3,128 registrations in 2021. A popular small SUV is priced from $42,290, making it fairly affordable for most people looking for a new vehicle. The CX5 is considered to be a low emitting vehicle and sits within the range that does not incur a fee or receive a rebate.
9. Tesla Model 3
Emissions: 0 g/km
The Tesla Model 3 is the top-selling EV for NZ with 3,271 sold in 2021. Priced from $72,400 it has been extremely popular as the more affordable of the Tesla vehicles. Being pure electric, the Model 3 is able to receive the full rebate.
8. Nissan Navara
Emissions: 221-244 g/km
Fees: up to $3,335
The Nissan Navara had sales of 3,574 last year to be the 4th most popular ute for Kiwis, priced from $41,000 for the single cab model. The Navara's emissions vary depending on the model, however the highest emitting is the Pro-4X double cab.
7. Toyota Corolla
Emissions: 92-107 g/km
Rebate: $3,108.97 (hatch petrol hybrid), $3,882.24 (sedan petrol hybrid)
The Toyota Corolla continues to be a popular vehicle, prized for its reliability. They are also available in hybrid models now that have lower emissions. Of the 4,766 Corolla's sold in 2021, 1,990 of them were hybrids. The hybrid models are now eligible for a rebate with the petrol model exempt from fees or rebates.
6. Mitsubishi Triton
Emissions: 251-257 g/km
Fees: up to $4,082.50
The Mitsubishi Triton is another popular ute for Kiwis, priced from $33,990 for the single cab model. 4, 963 Tritons were sold in 2021.
5. Mitsubishi ASX
Emissions: 196-207 g/km
The small SUV cross over Mitsubishi ASX sold 5,036 units in 2021 and is priced from $27,990. Due to its small 2.0 or 2.4L engine, it doesn't have large emissions, however, will still incur a fee for what it does emit.
4. Toyota RAV4
Emissions: 121 g/km (hybrid), 179 g/km (petrol)
Rebate: $2,387.24 (hybrid)
The RAV4 is another staple vehicle for Kiwis, priced from $38,290. 6,212 RAV4s were sold in 2021, 4,606 of those being the hybrid model. The hybrid model qualifies for a rebate and the petrol model incurs no fee or rebate due to low emissions.
3. Mitsubishi Outlander
Emissions: 38 g/km (PHEV) 189-206 g/km (petrol)
Rebate: $5,750 (PHEV)
Fees: up to $1,150 (petrol)
The Mitsubishi Outlander is the leading 7 seater vehicle for Kiwis and is now offered with a plug-in hybrid option. 6,506 Outlanders were sold in 2021 and 616 of them were PHEVs. The PHEV is eligible for a rebate and the petrol model will incur a fee. These SUVs are priced from $41,990 for the petrol model and $60,990 for the PHEV.
2. Toyota Hilux
Emissions: 216-243 g/km (diesel) 269-281 g/km (petrol)
Fees: up to $3,277.50 (diesel), up to $5,175 (petrol)
The Toyota Hilux has been a staple of most Kiwi farms for forever now, however, its high emissions will see it cost a bit more to buy now. The petrol models emit a lot more than diesel and the fees reflect this. In 2021 8,430 Hilux's were sold.
1. Ford Ranger
Emissions: 205-267 g/km
Fees: up to $4657.50
12,580 Rangers were sold in 2021 making them the most popular car in NZ. However, they are also one of the highest emitting vehicles. This converts to large fees being applied to them this year which will likely see sales drop.
With fees applied to high emission vehicles this year, it will be interesting to see if this sways Kiwi's affinity for utes. A majority of people buy them without the need for a large 4WD vehicle, so with fees applied we may see this group make different decisions that are cheaper for them and better for the environment. Moreover, electric utes are beginning to arrive in NZ (the first being from LDV), so more clean options will be available in the next few years.
Overall, many of this top 10 are great low emission options that we hope people continue to love and buy. Some it would be good to see move further down the list in the interest of our climate change goals as a country. However, with the rising amount of EVs in the market, more pure EVs can hopefully make it into the top 10 for 2022.