CCS to align with Australia

Minister announces changes to emissions targets for light-vehicle imports after review of scheme involving industry associations.
Posted on 09 July, 2024
CCS to align with Australia

The government has announced it will be revising emissions targets for the clean car standard (CCS) for 2025-29 and aligning the scheme with Australia’s goals in order to provide vehicle importers with certainty.

Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport, announced the move on July 9 and it follows a review of the CCS conducted this year.

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) consulted with the Motor Industry Association, Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association, Motor Trade Association and the AA before making its recommendations to the minister.

Brown, pictured, says the government supports the CCS to ensure New Zealand has an affordable mix of clean vehicles.

“Following a comprehensive review into the standard we will be making key changes to ensure the standard strikes the right balance between reducing transport emissions while ensuring that New Zealand’s have access to affordable vehicles,” he adds.

“The review found that the standard’s current targets are too stringent and are increasingly difficult for importers to meet, as they are out of step with manufacturing standards from leading vehicle manufacturers. 

“In fact, the review found that the commercial targets for 2026 and 2027 are more stringent than every other country in the world.”

The government says it will introduce changes from January 1, 2025, to ensure the CCS targets are stringent enough for New Zealand to receive a supply of clean vehicles, but not too stringent that importers cannot meet the targets, leading to higher vehicle prices. The changes include:

• Re-aligning the CCS’s emissions targets for 2025-2029 towards Australia’s targets, with commercial vehicles aligning from 2026 and passenger vehicles aligning from 2027. 

• Pass legislation to make further changes to provide more flexibility for the use of CCS credits and charges to support achieving the targets. 

• Exempting disability vehicles from the CCS, which will take effect as soon as possible after the new regulations are made.

Brown continues that New Zealand and Australia are effectively one car market, so it makes sense to have the same approach to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards between the two countries.

He also notes the advice provided by the MoT found that under current targets set by the former government, CCS penalties are forecast to amount to approximately $800.6 million of cost to consumers purchasing a new car in 2027, which is about $5,549 per vehicle.

“If we don’t change the path we are on, we will simply pile costs onto consumers while also failing to make emissions reductions,” says Brown. 

“New Zealand won’t have access to the low-emission vehicles needed to meet the strict standard as manufacturers are not in a position to introduce them to our market.

“New Zealand does not manufacture vehicles, meaning we are reliant on international markets and need to ensure our policies align with other larger economies to not put at risk our ability to access these markets.”