Anyone with a few research skills will quickly learn that EVs are not the “clean green” alternative that they are claimed to be, but the Labour government wants us purchasing them nevertheless. But is charging a fee on buying your next petrol car to fund rebates for buyers of EVs the right way to do it? We may be harming core businesses to satisfy misguided (and apparently wealthy) environmentalists. And is this fee a tax by definition?
by Martin Harris 29/6/21
According to the New Zealand Herald:
“Drivers who buy new cars from July 1 will be able to get taxpayer-funded rebates of almost $8700 for a new electric or plug-in hybrid car, and about $3,500 for used cars.
But those who buy petrol vehicles will cop the cost under the Government’s plan announced today – from January 2022, buyers of new petrol cars will have to pay a fee of up to $5875 while those buying newly imported used cars face fees of up to $2875.
That fee would be based on emissions – for example, it would add $2,900 to the cost of a new Toyota Hilux, $1230 to a Kia Sportage, and $830 for a Nissan Navara.
It is expected to raise between $125m and $188m in its first year – and the revenue from the fee was expected to fully fund the rebates on electric vehicles… a discount on low-emission vehicles funded by a fee on higher emitting vehicles was the best way to persuade people to invest in electric or hybrid cars.’
So, the government is indeed penalizing buyers of petrol powered cars to fund EV rebates. But is this technically a tax?
“The decision to charge fees for petrol car buyers has been criticised as unfair by Act and National, who say it is a “tax” on tradespeople and farmers who do not have options for electric vehicles…National’s transport spokesman Michael Woodhouse has said National supports incentives for electric car buyers, but they should be measures such as tax benefits and road user charges exemptions.
“The people who benefit will be higher-income earners who now don’t have to pay as much for a Tesla. We don’t think it’s fair to make tradies pay more for a Hilux so wealthy executives can get a discount on their next electric car.” (Source: Feebate: Fishhooks in Government’s ‘feebates’ scheme for electric cars – NZ Herald )
The word ”tax” is used here in inverted commas. The Labour government says it isn’t a tax because one can avoid it, however, tradies and farmers point out they can’t avoid it, as no EV alternative meets their criteria. therefore in their case, it is essentially a tax. (As per my emphasis in the Herald article).
Jacinda Ardern responded that “Toyota is bringing out an electric ute”, to which Toyota NZ responded “that’s news to us”. Perhaps its time Ardern did some research of her own before making claims she can’t back up with facts?
Clean Car Package: Toyota New Zealand shuts down Jacinda Ardern’s claim company is ‘talking about bringing in EV utes’
Ultimately, this author believes that neither gas, nor EVs, nor Hybrids are the way of the future: Kia, Honda and Mazda all see Hydrogen Cell as the way forwards and I agree: Sucking in and cleaning polluted air and nothing but water vapor emerging from the tailpipe…why isn’t this technology being promoted and funded more?
As for the “Feebate”, while giving an incentive to potential EV purchasers is fine, it also depends on where the money comes from. Punishing those who can’t utilise EV technology in their business or can’t fork out for a new car (EVs are more expensive than their petrol counterparts even with a rebate ,and have a far shorter useful lifespan) isn’t any way to provide encouragement nor get yourself voted back in next election time. Those who will benefit the most from this scheme will be Big Business: Electricity providers, Rare Earth metal miners, and oil companies. Yes, oil companies. You see, in contradiction to the familiar “Kiss Oil Goodbye” marketing campaign, an EV still requires lubrication of moving parts and is still manufactured with a hefty amount of plastic. Reality is tough.
As an interesting aside:
Electric car Tesla slapped with $15,000 tax surcharge
Electric car is the first tailpipe emission-free vehicle to be penalised thus in Singapore
“…Mr Joe Nguyen, 44, registered a used Model S he sourced from Hong Kong just before Chinese New Year. He was shocked that the car – for which he paid close to $400,000 – was liable for a $15,000 carbon surcharge…
…an LTA spokesman said: “Based on tests conducted under the UNECE R101 standards, the electric energy consumption of his imported used Tesla car was 444 watt-hour/km.”
To “account for CO2 emissions during the electricity generation process”, the spokesman said, “a grid emission factor of 0.5g/watt-hour was also applied to the electric energy consumption”.
From this, it was determined that Mr Nguyen’s Tesla produced 222g/km of CO2, putting it within the $15,000 surcharge band under Singapore’s Carbon Emission- based Vehicle Scheme. The LTA applied this grid factor once previously to an electric Peugeot Ion (a subcompact hatchback), and it was granted a carbon rebate of $20,000.
The BMW i3 electric hatchback and i8 plug-in hybrid both qualify for a $30,000 carbon rebate…READ MORE