Slowly but surely the pace of electric vehicle sales in Australia is growing.
It was given a boost in recent times as state governments and territories started introducing various forms of incentive to encourage their purchase.
Now the change of federal government has kickstarted a national approach to EV adoption that should accelerate sales substantially.
So without further ado, let’s go around the nation to see which governments are doing what to encourage us to plug-in rather than fuel up.
The Albanese federal government has made it clear it wants Australians to buy electric vehicles.
It has set that process in motion by seeking submissions for the development of a National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
A cornerstone of NEVs seems certain to be a fuel standard that will force internal combustion engined (ICE) vehicles to become cleaner and greener.
Eventually, such a policy would lead to the phase-out of ICE altogether. The timing and details of the scheme are yet to be thrashed out.
The federal government has also made it clear it backs the reintroduction of vehicle manufacturing with a focus on EVs, be it components or whole vehicles.
In terms of buyer incentives, it has cut the fringe benefits tax and import tariffs on plug-in hybrid and zero emissions vehicles.
It has also committed nearly $275.4 million over six years via its ‘Driving The Nation’ fund to develop cleaner and cheaper transport options.
This includes $39.8 million to instal 117 fast chargers on major highways nationwide.
New South Wales
The first 25,000 battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles with a value under $68,750 purchased by private citizens and some businesses from September 1 2021 receive a $3000 rebate.
That $68,750 price includes GST and any dealer or accessories costs, but does not include registration or insurance.
From September 1 2021 stamp duty on BEVs and FCEVs priced up to $78,000 was canned. This means a saving of up to $3000.
Australia’s most populace state has also announced a $171 million EV infrastructure (public charging) spend, a commitment to electrify its passenger fleet by 2030 and incentives for business, local government and not-for-profit fleets to transition to EVs.
On the disincentive side, the NSW government has announced EVs will pay a 2.5c/km road user charge from July 1 2027 or when they comprise 30 per cent of new vehicle sales. Plug-in hybrids will pay 2.0c/km.
The charge is designed to replace tax income lost from reduced fuel excise as petrol and diesel engine use lessens.
In the southern state there’s a bit more take and a little less give.
While there is a $3000 zero emissions vehicle subsidy in-place which had more than 20,000 places on offer when it opened in May 2021, that’s counter-balanced by a road user charging scheme (2.6c/km EV and 2.1c/km PHEV) that’s already in-place.
Victoria alone also has its own luxury vehicle duty – on top of the federal luxury car tax – but the good news is low emissions vehicles including EVs now avoid that.
There are no stamp duty concessions for EVs in Victoria, but both EVs and PHEVs get a $100 registration discount.
Victoria is investing $19 million to accelerate infrastructure roll-out, $10 million to replace 400 vehicles with ZEVs in its fleet and $20 million in a ZEV bus trial.
The sunshine state offers $3000 rebate for EVs priced under $58,000 – which means it applies to only a few EVs.
There is also a lower stamp duty than petrol, diesel and steam (yes steam) vehicles offered for both hybrids and EVs.
The Queensland government wants 100 per cent of its own eligible passenger fleet to be zero emission by 2026 and plans for exclusively ZEV buses in south east Queensland’s public transport network by 2025 and regionally by 2030.
There are no registration discounts and only a limited commitment to infrastructure roll-out.
Australian Capital Territory
Small in size but big in ambition, the ACT has declared its desire to ban the sale of new internal combustion vehicles by 2035.
The ACT’s current package of incentives include a $15,000 interest free loan to buy an EV, a stamp duty waiver for low and zero emissions vehicles and two years free registration for EVs.
The ACT is also investing in infrastructure roll-out and is adopting EVs and FCEVs “where fit for purpose”.
There are no plans for a road user charge. Yay!
South Australia has joined the ACT in targeting a 2035 end to ICE passenger vehicle sales.
It introduced a rebate of $3000 for EVs priced under $68,750 in late 2021. But it only applies to 7000 vehicles so get in quick.
There is currently a registration exemption that applies to EVs and FCEVS until 2025. There are no stamp duties reductions.
The new SA Labor government has ditched a $2000 subsidy for home chargers, but also axed a proposed 2027 road user charge.
It still has plans to upgrade public charger availability and will also push for EV or PHEV electrification of its fleet by 2030.
A $3500 rebate for EVs priced under $70,000 is the cornerstone of the WA government’s push for electric uptake. There are no registration or stamp duty breaks.
The introduction of a road-user charge from 2027 has been announced.
Public charging networks are being rolled out along the coast and in mining centre Kalgoorlie.
The government aims to electrify 25 per cent of its fleet by 2026, but that excludes big SUVs and utes, which are pretty common in the west.
Tasmania offers no rebates or registration discounts for private buyers of EVs, but does have a stamp duty waiver in-place until July 2023, saving about $2000 on a $45,000 electric vehicle.
Rental car companies in Tassie get two years free rego on EVs, while grants to assist with public charger installation have also been introduced.
The Tassie government wants to convert its fleet entirely to EV by 2030.
The primary incentives offered in the NT to buy an EV is a $1500 stamp duty discount and free registration. Both initiatives apply until 2027.
A small number of grants for private owners and businesses to install chargers have been authorised and there are plans for a roll-out of public chargers.
The NT government is also aiming to have 200 EVs in its fleet by 2030.