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Friday, December 3, 2021

NSW electric car incentive package passes into law

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A proposed wide-ranging electric car incentives package has passed through the New South Wales State Parliament this week.

Announced in June at a cost to the 2021-22 State Budget of $490 million, the sweeping stimulus package has been embraced by the industry as best-in-country.

Drivers who have registered a new electric car priced below $78,000 after September 1 can apply for a refund on stamp duty, and those buying a sub-$68,750 electric car can nab one of 25,000 rebates, each worth $3000. Applications will open on November 1.

Eligible electric vehicles will also be able to use Transit T2 and T3 lanes from November 1 until at least October 31, 2022.

NSW will also spend a targeted $171 million on charging infrastructure comprising $131 million for ua-fast chargers delivered by the private sector, $20 million in grants for destination chargers to assist regional tourism, and $20 million for public transport hubs.

A further $33 million has been allocated to help transition the NSW Government passenger fleet to EVs “where feasible”, with the target of a fully-electric fleet by 2030. These vehicles typically are on-sold after three to five years, stimulating the used EV market.

Finally, while NSW has committed to a Victoria-style road-user charge of 2.5 cents per km on EVs in lieu of fuel excise, it’s committed to deferring the rollout until July 2027 or any point before then when EVs hit 30 per cent market share.

It’s all prompted the state’s new Liberal Premier, Dominic Perrottet, to say these incentives make NSW the best place in Australia to buy and drive an electric vehicle.

“This is a comprehensive suite of measures, which ensures we have the right mix in place to boost the take-up of electric vehicles and give people access to the latest technology,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The strategy also starts us down the road of long-term tax reform as we embark on phasing out stamp duty on electric vehicles and making sure everyone who drives on our roads contributes to their funding and maintenance.”

State Treasurer and Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean called the NSW EV
Strategy nation-leading as well (as he would!), suggesting it will ensure at least 50 per cent of new cars sales are EVs by 2030.

“To achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the majority of new cars sold in NSW need to be EVs by 2035… This is the beginning of an EV revolution in NSW,” Mr Kean said.

“Our Strategy is all about helping more drivers to benefit from the latest and best driving technology and I welcome the cross party support for the legislation”.

Various stakeholders have praised NSW’s policy since announcement.

Peter Ciao, boss of the second-biggest EV brand in Australia MG, said “we look forward to offering our support to the Minister for Energy and Environment’s office, as MG accelerates its plans to supply and support infrastructure in NSW and across Australia”.

Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch said “NSW has engaged with stakeholders and experts to facilitate the uptake of EVs… It is intent on making EV ownership easier”.

Hyundai Australia CEO Jun Heo called it “a world-class progamme – ambitious, broad-ranging and a significant step forward in the development of zero-emissions transport for New South Wales and for Australia”.

Nissan Australia said “these types of polices not only accelerate the EV transition right now, but also put Australia in a stronger place for priority adoption of new vehicle technologies, sooner.”

Context

Over the past 12 months we have seen significant movement around region-specific EV rebates and tax cuts to encourage their take-up.

On the other hand, Victoria is also charging a road-user tax on ZEVs and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) in place of fuel excise.

The resultant policy patchwork has prompted key stakeholders to call for national policies.

“If the federal government changes course and gets behind EVs now, we won’t just drive down emissions, we’ll encourage huge investment in our EV sector,” claimed the EV Council’s chief Behyad Jafari.

“There is no reason Australia cannot be an important part of the EV global supply chain, but we need a strong local market to spur that investment on.”

Highlighting what he sees as a flaw in the state-based patchwork system, Volkswagen’s Mr Bartsch again chipped in:

“Electric Vehicles and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles will eventually come to comprise the great majority of passenger vehicles on sale,” he said.

“Yet we as a national sales company are confronted by polar opposite approaches in Australia’s two biggest markets.

“… Only now has Victoria appointed a panel to consult industry. It need only set aside provincial rivalry and look north of the Murray River for its example.

“As it stands, an EV or PHEV owner in Albury would be exempted from a road user charge, while their neighbours in Wodonga on the south bank are taxed for choosing a zero or low emissions vehicle.”

Regardless, sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles surged in Australia over the first half of 2021. Their combined market share about doubled compared with last year’s tally.

7248 electric vehicles (EV) were sold in Australia between January and June, according to the latest Electric Vehicle Council market report, in addition to 1440 plug-in hybrids (PHEV).

This combined 8688 sales equalled 1.57 per cent market share, up from 0.78 per cent share in 2020. Strip out light commercials and it’s 2.0 per cent. More EVs were sold in the first half of 2021 than all of 2020.

MORE: Australian electric vehicle launch calendar

Below you will find a list of useful information regarding everything you need to know about electric car policies.

MORE: Australia-wide EV policy needed to avoid ‘chaos’, says FCAI
MORE: NSW electric-vehicle stimulus package
MORE: Victoria commits to electric car subsidies, 2030 sales target
MORE: Victoria’s ‘worst EV policy in the world’ slammed
MORE: Northern Territory commits to electric car incentives
MORE: Australian industry keeps calling for new government CO2 targets
MORE: ACT moving public-servant fleet to EVs, will slash running costs
MORE: How Australia’s federal opposition proposes to slash EV prices

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