- Subsidy of $3000 announced for 4000 electric car buyers in Victoria
- A further two rounds coming to subsidise a total of 20,000 purchases
- More charging infrastructure on the way
- State government sets target of half of new cars sold to be zero-emission by 2030
The Victorian Government has announced it will provide a subsidy of up to $3000 for electric vehicle buyers.
Residents and local businesses with premises in Victoria can apply for the first round of the subsidy, for 4000 electric or hydrogen vehicle purchases up to $68,740 before on-road costs.
The program aims to support the purchase of up to 20,000 zero-emissions vehicles over the next three years, with the government setting a target of half of new-car sales to be either electric or hydrogen by 2030.
The $100 million package is only open for fully-electric or hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars and SUVs, and does not extend to plug-in hybrids, zero-emissions motorcycles, or heavy vehicles such as trucks or buses.
Those who signed up to lease the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai under a three-year deal through Toyota will also miss out on the deal.
For vehicles that are eligible for the rebate, the process will be facilitated through dealerships for purchases made on or after 2 May 2021.
The Victorian Government has committed to buying $10 million worth of zero-emissions cars by 2023 – equating to around 400 cars.
A further $19 million has been assigned to build at least 50 electric vehicle charging points across the state, with an emphasis on tourist attractions and major highways.
The announcement of a 50 per cent zero-emissions target for new-car sales by 2030 is confirmation the government will not be introducing a proposal from Infrastructure Victoria last month, which recommended a ban on petrol and diesel car sales by the end of the decade.
The new cash incentive comes amid criticism of the Victorian Government's plan to tax electric vehicle drivers 2.5 cents per kilometre driven each year – on top of annual vehicle registration costs – brought about because of a forecasted tax shortfall due to battery-powered vehicles not contributing to a fuel excise when filling up.
"The incentives package for electric vehicles is consistent with actions being taken by governments across the world. However, it does bring into question the decision of the Victorian Government to also introduce legislation that targets a road user charge on electric and plug in hybrid vehicles," said Tony Weber, Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.
Based on the average annual distance driven of 15,000km, the proposal would charge electric vehicle drivers an additional $375 annually. The government says it will introduce the tax in July 2021.
The Victorian Government rebate scheme will be applied to zero-emission vehicle purchases made after 2 May 2021 by the dealership the car was sold through, with customers advised to retain the registration certificate and contract of sale.