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South Australia announces possible $3000 EV rebates
Pressure continues to mount on federal government for national EV approach
26 Aug 2021
THE South Australian state government has outlined a new $18 million electric vehicle implementation plan, headlined by the potential of 6000 $3000 rebates being handed out to new-EV buyers.
Announced last week before being introduced to parliament, the plan would also push back the introduction of the proposed ‘Electric Vehicle Road User’ charge from July 1 next year to July 1, 2027, or when EVs account for 30 per cent of all new-car sales (whichever comes first).
Featuring the same core elements and timeframes as the New South Wales charges, the South Australian government said its road charge would be “calculated at two cents per kilometre (indexed) for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and 2.5c/km (indexed) for any other electric vehicles”.
The ultimate goal of the implementation plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 as a stepping stone towards net-zero emissions by 2050.
“We are committed to investing to help drive the take-up of environmentally friendly zero and low emission vehicles while ensuring there is a long-term sustainable model for critical road funding,” said South Australia treasurer Rob Lucas.
“We have consulted widely with industry, manufacturers and other interest groups … a road user charge is necessary to ensure that all vehicle owners, regardless of what car they drive, contribute to the upkeep of our roads into the future.”
With up to $13.4 million to be spent leveraging an estimated $25 million worth of private investment in the state-wide charging network, the South Australian plan has been welcomed with open arms by key players within the local industry, including the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA).
FCAI CEO Tony Weber praised the action plan, saying it was consistent with moves being made around the world and country to not only increase the uptake of zero-emissions vehicles, but oust “outdated, inefficient and burdensome taxes and charges”.
“The proposed customer subsidy of $3000 for electric vehicles provides a positive signal to customers and car companies that this emerging technology is a key part of our transportation future,” he said.
“The proposed user charge for electric vehicles is consistent with the charge proposed in other states which provides a platform for national consistency in the absence of a federally-led approach.
“The timing of the introduction of the charge in 2027, or when EVs represent 30 per cent of sales, will allow some time for the market to adjust. This will result in low emission vehicles taking a greater share of the overall automotive market.”
VGA managing director Michael Bartsch added that the South Australian approach emulated the best aspect of NSW’s plan and reiterated the brand’s previous comments about the lack of action at a federal level.
“The states and territories are left to pursue individual policies on the most profound change to personal mobility in 100 years,” he said.
“NSW has devised a world-class strategy to encourage uptake of zero emissions vehicles. Nor would South Australia implement a road user charge on EVs until 2027 or until these comprise 30 per cent of sales.
“Lack of federal leadership, however, has allowed the Victorian government to go rogue with a plan predicated on taxing EVs before they comprise even one per cent of the market.
“Unlike its eastern neighbour, but very much like NSW, the Marshall government has sought expert advice and considered these representations, and we ask that it continues in this vein.”
This latest move by South Australia just leaves Queensland and Western Australia as the only states without a significant EV incentive model or action plan – Queensland currently offers reduced stamp duty on EVs – given the Northern Territory’s and Tasmania’s announcements last month.
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