Ministry’s acting chief executive tells select committee standard isn’t about raising money for the government.
Officials from the Ministry of Transport (MoT) have told MPs that the clean car standard (CCS) is not a revenue-gathering exercise.
Members of the transport and infrastructure select committee have quizzed officials about the government’s clean-car policies. These include the full clean car discount scheme, which was launched in April 2022, and the CCS.
The latter takes effect on January 1, 2023. It includes penalties for importers of light vehicles exceeding set carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions levels and credits for lower emissions models.
Bryn Gandy, the MoT’s acting chief executive and transport secretary, told the committee the standard wasn’t about money.
“Obviously what we’re not looking to do there is make money,” he told MPs. “We are there to shift behaviour in terms of what’s being brought into the country.”
As for the government’s engagement with the automotive industry, Gandy, pictured, added “it was clear they were going to struggle to be in a position to deal with the administrative complexity of the programme” with it coming into effect on January 1.
He said the MoT was comfortable with staging the CCS’s implementation. “We’re preserving the relationship and the licence to operate with industry.”
With the clean car discount’s structure firmly in place, and the sector well-aware of the impending CCS, Gandy added imports of cleaner cars have been on the up.
“Vehicles that are being imported into the country would be at least broadly compliant already with the standard. At the moment, it does seem we’re getting the result we wanted.”
He said consumers were also looking at fully electric and plug-in hybrid alternatives in greater numbers, and much higher than forecast. “I recall a figure of about a 236 per cent increase in EV registrations since the clean car discount came into effect.
Michael Wood, Minister of Transport, has said CCS will help combat CO2 emissions, and improve people’s overall health and well-being, reports the NBR.
“The standard will encourage importers to bring in vehicles with lower emissions that burn less fuel and will stop New Zealand being the dumping ground for the dirtiest vehicles in the world.”