Move comes after Climate Commission recommended banning petrol and diesel cars by 2023

The New Zealand government is introducing subsidies to make electric vehicles thousands of dollars cheaper and new petrol and diesel cars more expensive, as the country tries transition to an emissions-free fleet.

The changes follow New Zealand’s Climate Commission recommendations which laid out sweeping changes required to get the country closer to its emissions targets.

The subsidies for electric and some hybrid vehicles would be up to NZ$8,625 (£4,360) for new vehicles and NZ$3,450 (£1,744) for used cars. They will start next month.

Transport now makes up almost 33% of long-lived greenhouse gas emissions in Aotearoa, and last week, the Climate Commission laid out new benchmarks for the country to transform the makeup of its fleet. The commission’s recommended plan included banning imports of petrol and diesel cars by 2032, and that road transport be almost completely decarbonised by 2050. To meet its goal for transport emissions, the commission concluded electric vehicles would need to make up half of all light vehicle registrations by 2029, and 100% by 2035.