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OEMs continue to call for national EV strategy

Plug in: More and more OEMs are urging the federal government to implement a national EV strategy in the ilk of NSW’s $490 million effort.

Pressure continues to mount on federal government for nationwide EV strategy

29 Jun 2021

CALLS for Australia’s federal government to take more action in encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles have continued to echo across the industry this week as more manufacturers voice their support of New South Wales’ recently announced EV strategy.


Soon-to-be EV heavyweights including Volvo, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and relative newcomer Mazda have joined the list of OEMs singing the praises of the NSW strategy that revolves around $490 million worth of tax cuts, purchase incentives, rebates and a drastic expansion of the state’s charging network over the next four years.


According to Volvo Car Australia managing director Stephen Connor, the time is now for the federal and other state governments to “fast track their electric vehicle strategies” to “ensure Australia does not lag behind the global car market”.


“Volvo applauds the NSW Government’s electric vehicle reform package. It is a significant step in the right direction to increase penetration of electric vehicles in Australia, which is lagging the rest of the developed world on uptake,” he said.


The Swedish car-maker has committed to becoming an electric-only brand by the end of this decade, phasing out all internal combustion and hybrid cars in its global line-up.


“Volvo firmly believes there is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said Mr Connor.


Despite its first dedicated EV – the MX-30 – only arriving this August in limited numbers, Mazda Australia joined Volvo in advocating for a national approach, with managing director Vinesh Bhindi telling GoAutothe conversations should also “expand into sustainable and cost-effective renewable energy sources for the nation’s energy requirements”.


“Mazda Australia welcomes the New South Wales government’s 2021-22 budget updates that will support both electric vehicle infrastructure and EV purchasers,” he said.


“We also feel that this policy should serve as a kicking off point for the federal government to commence a nation-wide EV support structure that removes the complication of state-by-state legislation.”


While stopping short of confirming all-electric portfolios in the near future, German premium brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz are each building up an arsenal of EVs ready to launch Down Under and both welcomed NSW’s new strategy with open arms.


“BMW Group Australia supports any measures and initiatives from governments that incentivise the take up of electrified vehicles,” BMW Group Australia CEO Wolfgang Buechel told GoAuto. 


“While we have a long way to go, it is positive to see significant support packages such as the recent one announced by the NSW Government and that such measures encourage further forward-thinking actions particularly at a national level.”


Mercedes-Benz head of media relations Jerry Stamoulis meanwhile said the brand would continue to consult with the NSW government as the finer details of strategy are developed and implemented.


“Mercedes-Benz Australia welcomes the announcement of the NSW Government’s Electric Vehicle Strategy, aimed at decreasing taxes, incentivising uptake and reducing barriers for electric vehicles,” he said.


For the uninitiated, NSW residents who purchase a new EV priced under $78,000 as of September 1 will have their stamp duty waived while a $3000 rebate will be offered to the first 25,000 private purchasers of eligible vehicles under $68,750.


From there, a $171 million slice of the funding has been dedicated to boosting charging networks, of which $131m will be spent on new ultra-fast chargers.


The remaining $40 million will be split equally between grants for destination chargers (regional) and the installation of charging facilities at public transport hubs on land owned by Transport for NSW. 


$33 million has also been set aside to help transition the state government’s passenger fleet to EVs “where feasible” with the goal of being fully electric by 2030.


To offset the lack of stamp duty revenue, a road user charge of 2.5 cents per kilometre for eligible EVs (2.0c/km for PHEVs) will be implemented as of July 1, 2027, or when EVs make up 30 per cent of all new vehicle sales – whichever comes first – at which point all plug-in hybrids and EVs will have their stamp duties waived.

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