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The Australian Greens have proposed a range of policies to hasten the take-up of electric vehicles, including five-years free registration, more public charging infrastructure, incentives for big fleets to buy EVs, and part-funding a domestic EV industry.

Additionally under the Greens’ plan, the controversial 33 per cent luxury car tax would be increased to a rate of 50 per cent for internal combustion vehicles over $100,000 (a higher threshold than at present), to “drive consumer choices towards electric vehicles”. That’s bound to get some noses out of joint…

At the heart of the Greens plan, ‘Accelerating the EV Revolution’, the result would be 31,000 more electric cars on the roads by 2021, along with 330 more public charging stations.

Nissan Leaf

The key points of the plans are:

  • Federally funding free registration for the first five years of EV ownership. This plan is exclusively for pure EVs.
  • Allocating $151 million to support local governments, state governments and car park operators to install charging infrastructure for EVs and PHEVs. It will subsidise the purchase and installation costs for a fast charge roadside station up to a cap of $45,000 per station, which the Greens say could support the installation of approximately 3500 charging stations.
  • Providing $50 million in grants to support both public and private fleet organisations to “meet the gap” between the cost of EVs (and potentially PHEVs) and conventional petrol/diesel cars, aka subsiding the cost of EVs. The Greens’ maths works on a gap of approximately $15,000 between conventional and electric vehicles, meaning this fund would theoretically cover the price gap for nearly 3500 new EVs. It would also foster a used EV market.
  • Increasing the luxury car tax from 33 per cent to 50 per cent for fossil-fuel powered vehicles worth over $100,000, raising a claimed $280 million over the forward estimates.
  • Looping firms involved in electric vehicle manufacturing into the government’s Automotive Transformation Scheme. The Greens say EVs are forecast to make up over a third of new vehicle sales by 2040 (citing Bloomberg), but says “Australian governments, both current and previous, have no plan to tap into this potential”. We’d make mention here of Nissan, which makes electric car components in Melbourne for the globe.

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In the plan document, the Greens say that Australia’s transport sector accounts for 17.4 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions.

“To be serious about tackling climate change, we need to move our vehicle fleet off fossil fuels and plug them into the electricity grid powered by renewable energy,” the party claims.

“Evidence from other countries is that government has a crucial role to play in building the infrastructure and providing the incentives for early adoption of electric vehicles.”

“… The Greens propose a suite of policies that will make it cheaper for Australians to own their first electric vehicle, make it easier to recharge at locations across the country and help plant the seeds of an electric vehicle future for our struggling automotive industry.”

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Greens leader, Senator Richard Di Natale, discussed the policy this week, stating the party’s stance that “electric vehicles are rapidly coming down in price. With solar panels on our roof, charging our batteries for our home and car, free daily transport is at our fingertips”.

“Providers like Nissan have had the electric Leaf vehicle on the market since 2010 and since then we have seen the market grow with more people wanting a cleaner, cheaper option for transport.

“We need to support Australian developers and manufacturers of battery technologies, electric vehicle servicing and engineering, to seize the opportunities of the electric vehicle future.

“The old dirty power sources like diesel and coal are on their way out and we need to support industries like electric vehicles to move toward a more innovative future.”

Australia’s EV market is tiny by world standards, though the Tesla Model S has attracted a cult following at the top end. Only 40 Nissan Leafs have been sold this year (down 20 per cent), while BMW i3 sales have halved to 36 YTD.

What do you think about the Greens’ plan to encourage the rollout of electric cars?




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