Torque Talk: Road User Charges

So, it’s finally happened. From April 1st, owners of light EVs and Plug in Hybrids (PHEVs) will have to pay Road User Chargers as part of the Government’s RUC for electric vehicles legislation.

That means that if you plug your car, van, or SUV, into the mains or fast charger, you will have to pay per 1000km of distance travelled.

The RUC exemption for electric vehicles began in 2009 and now that two percent of the current New Zealand car fleet is made up of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles), which according to information provided by NZTA sits at roughly 100,000, the decision was made to implement RUCs for BEVs and PHEVs for this year.

Owners of BEVs which rely on electric power alone will have to pay $76 per 1000km, whereas PHEVs will have to pay $53 for the same distance. That said, I feel the $53 is a bit much for PHEVs. Bear in mind that PHEV owners already have to pay a fuel tax, like anyone with an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) does. Half price of the full $76 would be better surely?

Regardless, the fact remains, whether some like it or not, RUCs for EVs and PHEVs take effect real soon.

By Ben Selby.

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