NSW unveils $ 490 million electric vehicle support program, but there’s a catch
The Berejiklian government has unveiled an ambitious $ 490 million program of new incentives, tax cuts and spending for new fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles – some of the best available in Australia – but it has a major problem .
The ambitious funding package was revealed ahead of the next NSW Government budget and includes a wide range of measures to reduce the upfront costs of electric vehicles for first-time users, a commitment to push through the the government’s fleet of vehicles to all-electric models in 2030 and includes an expenditure of $ 171 million for new charging infrastructure across the state.
As part of the plan, the NSW government will waive the stamp duty on electric vehicles priced below $ 78,000 – just below the luxury car tax threshold – and an additional $ 3,000 discount will be available for the first 25,000 purchases of battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a price lower than $ 68,750. The support is designed both to reduce the cost of electric vehicles and to encourage automakers to introduce lower cost models to the Australian market.
But this additional support will be offset by new fees to be paid by electric vehicle drivers, with the NSW government becoming the latest jurisdiction to introduce road user charges for electric vehicles, similar to a new tax per kilometer introduced in Victoria. It is understood that the introduction of a per-kilometer tax on electric vehicles in NSW has been ‘deferred’ and will begin in 2027.
“Our overall strategy is to make sure we have the right mix in place to drive the adoption of electric vehicles while ensuring that everyone who drives our roads contributes to their funding and maintenance,” said the treasurer. from NSW, Dominic Perrottet.
“Our strategy also initiates a major long-term tax reform. Today we begin the process of phasing out the stamp duty on electric vehicles and a deferred transition to a fair and sustainable road user charge per kilometer for electric vehicles. “
“From young adults saving for their first car in West Sydney to retirees planning a road trip to Broken Hill, these incentives will make electric vehicles accessible and affordable for all New South Wales residents,” he said. added Perrottet.
The reforms will likely be seen as part of a larger movement by governments to move away from stamp duties as the main source of revenue, in favor of permanent and user-based taxes.
The introduction of a per-kilometer charge for electric vehicles in Victoria has been widely criticized, described as one of the worst electric vehicle policies in the world, and likely contributed to that state’s government decision to grant its own. $ 3,000 rebate for electric vehicle purchases.
However, NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said the new policies should put the state on track for 50% of new car sales to be electric vehicle models.
“Countries and automakers around the world are turning to electric vehicles and consumers in NSW deserve to have access to the latest vehicle models when they go to buy a car,” Kean said. “We also know that with new cars staying on the road for an average of 15 years, the vast majority of new cars sold in NSW must be electric vehicles by 2035 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. . “
“Our goal is to increase sales of electric vehicles to over 50% of new cars sold in NSW by 2030 and for electric vehicles to account for the vast majority of new cars sold in the state of here 2035. “
“This national plan will help us meet those goals by addressing the three biggest barriers to buying an electric vehicle – range anxiety, upfront cost and model availability – and should see sales of new electric cars will reach 52% by 2030-31. . We want new, cheaper electric vehicle models to be available here in NSW and this strategy is designed to achieve that result, ”Kean added.
The NSW government will spend $ 131 million to establish a network of super-fast vehicle chargers, providing easy access to all of the state’s major highways – establishing its own ‘super highways’ similar to those of Queensland – and ensuring that most commuters in Sydney are within a 5-minute drive of a fast-charging station.
Additional grants of $ 20 million will also be awarded to key tourist sites to provide destination charging facilities and an additional $ 20 million for charging infrastructure at public transport hubs.
The NSW government will also increase its own adoption of electric vehicles, with the state budget including $ 33 million to fund further purchases of electric vehicles to be added to the state government vehicle fleet – the government of Berejiklian setting a goal for a fully electric vehicle fleet from the government by 2030.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said increasing the use of electric vehicles would help reduce the state’s emissions and the new policies would help commuters lower their costs of global transport.
“Our transport sector currently accounts for 20 percent of state emissions, of which almost 50 percent comes from passenger vehicles,” Constance said. “Electric vehicles are not only cheaper to drive and quieter on our roads, but they also reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, dramatically improving the health of our communities. “
“As the global right-hand drive market moves towards the manufacture of electric vehicles, we must ensure that we have policies in place to give the industry the green light to increase model availability and reduce prices. entry. “
“The average driver in NSW will save about $ 1,000 per year in operating costs by switching to an electric vehicle, and those savings can be as high as $ 7,500 per year for business, taxis and freight,” added Constance.
The new policy package will be included in the next NSW state government budget to be delivered on Tuesday. The new stamp duty discounts and exemptions will start from September 1, 2021.
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist at RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Prior to joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy industry for over a decade.