New Zealand’s Motor Industry Association (MIA) said sales of electrified new vehicles rose 94% year on year in 2021 to 25,194 units.

This increase reduced average greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles sold last year by 4.7% compared to 2020 and was the largest annual reduction recorded by the MIA since it started collecting data in 2006.

“New Zealand distributors are working closely with their parent companies to transition as fast as we can to a more fuel-efficient fleet. However, the transition is nowhere fast enough to avoid the government’s looming clean car standard penalties from 2023 onwards,” MIA CEO David Crawford said.

While the accelerating rate in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the new vehicle fleet was pleasing, it signals to the government the severity of the targets and resulting penalties contained in the Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill.

“For our sector to reach the proposed 2025 target, we needed to have reduced our average emissions by 10% in 2021, not 4.7%.”

He said New Zealand was already falling behind the rate needed to reach the government’s targets despite the massive 94% increase in sales of new low emission vehicles in 2021.

“Failing to meet the targets means prices for vehicles will increase to offset the penalties faced by new vehicle importers.”

With the Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill coming back to the House for its second and third readings, the MIA has urged the Minister to review the targets so they remain “challenging but not crippling”.