The motor industry says more time is needed to implement clean car standards designed to slash carbon emissions it says are the "most aggressive anywhere in the world".
Meanwhile American electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla, the world's most valuable carmaker, has hit back with representatives today, telling politicians New Zealand is well behind comparable countries and risks becoming a dumping ground for dirty, high-emitting vehicles.
Parliament's transport select committee has been hearing submissions into new clean car rules.
They include the clean car discount, which gives a rebate on cleaner vehicles paid for by levying a charge on dirty ones; and the clean car standard, which encourages importers to bring clean cars into the country by forcing them to balance out imports of polluting vehicles by also importing clean ones.
Automakers that failed to balance the importing of "clean" and "dirty" vehicles, would have to pay penalties.
The Bill aims to rapidly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from light vehicles, helping meet climate change targets.
Representatives of the Motor Trade Association (MTA) told the committee the targets were "the most aggressive anywhere in the world".
These would see average emissions of most imported new and used passenger vehicles at 145 grams per kilometre by 2023, and more than halving to 63.3g/km in 202.
The MTA said these were also unreasonable, as they sought to get ahead of major automotive markets and failed to acknowledge New Zealand's link to the Australian market.
MTA strategy manager Greig Epps said this would simply result in the industry not achieving the targets, and penalties flowing on to consumers.
Electric utes, for example, were still three to four years away from being more common in the market and unlikely to reach New Zealand until near the end of the decade, he said.
To reach the targets in the Bill in 2027, at least 50 per cent of new vehicles would need to be zero emissions, he said.
"While we wish we could get that many by then, it is not possible."
The MIA recommended New Zealand instead set its own standards to follow those of other jurisdictions, namely meet the European Union's 2030 targets by 2032 here.
The Automobile Association (AA) said in its submission the Bill would highly likely lead to the range of affordable vehicles available to New Zealanders declining very quickly and prices escalate rapidly.
"This would reduce demand for vehicles and hence the turnover of vehicles entering the fleet as New Zealanders opt to keep and maintain the vehicles they already have for longer."
AA national policy and research manager Simon Douglas said they supported the goals and framework, but believed the proposed rate of change required to meet the targets were "too onerous and practically unattainable in the timeframe outlined".
Tesla representative Sam McLean said in the contrary the proposed targets were "very modest and reasonable in an international context".
The United Kingdom had pledged to ban combustible engine motor vehicles by 2030, along with Sweden and Denmark, for example.
"This is out in the middle of the pack."
McLean said they recommended charges for non-compliance were increased.
When asked by National MP David Bennett about the ability to meet electric vehicle demand to meet the standards, Tesla senior counsel Joe Mendelson said their production had grown in line with clean car policy, particularly in the United States.
They had gone from producing 3000 vehicles in 2012, when standards were introduced, to over a million this year. They aimed to build 20 million a year by 2030.
Tesla said in its written submission the poor supply of electric vehicles from legacy automakers was due to decisions those companies had made to neglect the EV market.
"Legacy automakers will tell this committee that they cannot supply adequate numbers of lower emissions vehicles to meet the Clean Vehicle Standard.
"This may be true but, in saying so, they are simply stating that they have chosen not to invest in low emissions vehicles and they now want to hold back New Zealand's transition to sustainable transport as a result," Tesla said.