The New Zealand Parliament has passed legislation exempting electric cars from road tax.

Previously, electric vehicles were taxed the same as diesel vehicles at between 3.6 and 4 cents per kilometre.

Transport Minister, Steven Joyce, said that combining highly efficient electric motors with New Zealand’s competitive advantage in renewable electricity generation would reduce the greenhouse gases produced by the transport sector.

The new legislation will come into effect on October 1 and continue until 2013 when it will be reassessed.