...if they're re-elected, naturally.
The South Australian Government has pledged to cut stamp duty and offer five years free registration for electric vehicle buyers, should it be re-elected in next month's election.
EV buyers would still be forced to pay some on-road costs – the Compulsory Third Party insurance premium, for example – but the scheme promises to save buyers of $40,000 electric vehicles a handy $1540 upfront and five instalments of $123 registration fees, for a total $2155 saving.
Anyone buying an EV worth $60,000 stands to save $2340 in stamp duty, along with the same $615 (total) in registration fees, while jumping to $80,000 vehicles brings a $3140 stamp-duty saving.
"This announcement demonstrates South Australia's leadership in shaping the future of Australian industry," said Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Australian Electric Vehicle Council.
"This is a wakeup call for all governments across Australia – it's time to take meaningful action on electric vehicles."
The move comes just weeks after Marc Werner, BMW Australia CEO, lashed out at the lack of Federal support for electric buyers.
"Here in Australia we continue to languish in the doldrums as senior government officials concentrate on their private affairs rather than formulating the advancement of our society,” Werner said, in a fashion guaranteed to attract coverage.
"...Thinking about this is not enough, clearly not enough. We need to see some action here or Australia will continue to lag behind the rest of the world," Werner continued.
“If there could be any doubt in the minds of our country’s leaders that they need to do something, anything, then they only need to take a look at the global auto industry.
“We need urgently to settle short- and medium-term support options to kickstart our market. Things like strong EV targets, CO2 emissions targets, extended charging infrastructure and tax incentives, all work in other countries, why not Australia?"
The local arm of Mitsubishi, headquartered in South Australia, has also thrown its support behind the state government announcement.
“The South Australian Labor Government is showing leadership in developing a sustainable future transport industry and we applaud this proactive approach to the challenges of developing a viable electric vehicle market in Australia," said John Signoriello, Mitsubishi Australia CEO.
Mitsubishi was a pioneer in the market with its tiny i-MiEV, offered briefly in Australia to fleet buyers as the first EV to be sold here, forming part of a pilot program to study the case here for electric vehicles.