A Hawke's Bay transport leader says the Government's new electric vehicle "feebate" scheme is "fantastic" but the region just needs more electric vehicle infrastructure to make it work.
But farmers say the electric vehicle discount isn't something most farmers could take advantage of, and a fee on petrol cars seems like a new tax.
The Government on Sunday announced a new scheme that would mean buyers of electric vehicles will be able to get rebates of up to almost $8700 for a new electric or plug-in hybrid car, while buyers of new petrol cars will be stung with a fee of up to $5875 depending on the car model.
Buyers of used EVs will get a rebate of about $3500 and buyers of newly imported petrol cars will face fees of up to $2875.
The fee is based on emissions.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council transport committee chairman Martin Williams said he thinks it's "a pity it didn't happen sooner".
"It makes that [electric vehicles] option accessible to people in the community who may want to contribute something in terms of helping climate change, who are otherwise simply not able to afford it.
"It's an equitable and fair way to go about the type of step change we need as a country ... if we're going to have any hope of meeting our Paris Climate Change Accord commitments."
An owner of a Nissan Leaf himself, he said "we are under-served in terms of infrastructure".
There are charging stations he has used on the Napier-Taupō Rd and stations in Napier and Hastings, but there needed to be more, and in the right places, he said.
"We need to make these more easy to use than the alternatives.
"I'd like to see our landscape really transformed in terms of the uptake of EVs.
"Equally, I think we want to make sure that we don't clobber our rural communities because if they haven't got the alternatives, we need to be fair to them as well," Williams said.
"You could proactively encourage and incentivise the uptake of EVs without necessarily penalising the rural sector, if the Government could've found that happy place, I would've been happier with that."
Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay president Jim Galloway said there were no large electric vehicle options for farmers, and service providers who come to the farm.
"It's going to add a cost to farmers and all of our vets and tradies and that service side.
"Travel is a big part of the cost of getting to a farm because they are not in town, you can't catch a bus or an Uber to a farm with a truck full of tools."
Most farms use a ute because they need to carry dogs, gear or tow a trailer ,and bigger cars are also needed as farming families live further from town and "you aren't going to town to buy one bag of groceries".
"You're going to town to buy groceries, you're going to the vet, you're going to Farmlands, you're picking up a load of gear so a Nissan Leaf isn't going to cut it."
Farmers had the same reaction, and Galloway said the fee "seems to be a tax to me".
He said another thing that may happen is people might keep older, less-fuel-efficient vehicles for longer "as it's going to cost more to change".