Car companies and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries have welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to get serious about electric vehicles (EVs).

NSW has promised almost half a billion dollar investment in tax cuts and incentives to drive an electric revolution.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said $490 million is being committed in the 2021-22 NSW Budget to cut taxes, incentivise uptake and reduce barriers for electric vehicle purchases over the next four years.

“Our comprehensive strategy is about making sure we have the right mix in place to incentivise the take-up of electric vehicles while ensuring everyone who drives on our roads contributes to funding and maintaining them,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Our strategy also commences long-term major tax reform. Today we begin the process of permanently phasing out stamp duty on electric vehicles and a deferred transition to a fair and sustainable per-kilometre road user charge for electric vehicles.

“From September this year, we will waive stamp duty for eligible EVs under $78,000 and $3,000 rebates will be up for grabs for the first 25,000 purchasers of battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles under $68,750.

“From young adults saving for their first car in Western Sydney to retirees planning a  road trip to Broken Hill, these incentives will make electric vehicles accessible and affordable for all NSW residents.”

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says the elimination of stamp duty on electric vehicles (EV) up to $78,000 from September 1, 2021 and all EVs including Plug In Hybrid (PHEV) from July 1, 2027, $151 million investment in EV charging infrastructure in metropolitan and regional areas, EV access to transit T2 and T3 lanes and cash rebates for EV customers represent some of the most significant reforms ever seen in Australia in support of new automotive technology. 

It adds however that a road user charge of 2.5c/km for EV and a 2.0c/km for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) will be applied from July 1, 2027 or when EVs make up at least 30 per cent of new car sales.

“The direction being set by the NSW Government has the capacity to kick start serious EV penetration into Australia,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“As the future of mobility continues to rapidly transform, now is the time for Governments to relieve motorists of a myriad of outdated, confusing and inefficient charges and replace them with a simplified road user charging approach.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the EV Strategy will help the NSW Government take action on climate change.

“Our transport sector currently makes up 20 per cent of the state’s emissions, with almost 50 per cent of those coming from passenger vehicles,” Mr Constance said.

“Electric vehicles are not only cheaper to run and quieter on our roads, but they also reduce both carbon emissions and air pollution which results in dramatically improved health outcomes for our communities.

“As the world’s right-hand drive market moves to manufacturing electric vehicles, we have to make sure we have the policies in place to give industry the green light to increase model availability and cut entry price points.

“The average NSW driver will save around $1000 a year in running costs by switching to an EV, and those savings can be up to $7500 a year for businesses, taxis and freight.”

Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said we need to give drivers more options to make their next car an EV.

“Countries and car makers around the world are moving to EVs and NSW consumers deserve access to the latest vehicle models when they go to buy a car,” Mr Kean said.

“We also know that, with new cars staying on the road 15 years on average, the vast majority of new cars sold in NSW need to be EVs by 2035 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Our aim is to increase EV sales to more than 50 per cent of new cars sold in NSW by 2030 and for EVs to be the vast majority of new cars sold in the State by 2035.

“This nation-leading plan will help us achieve these objectives by tackling the three biggest barriers to purchasing an EV – range anxiety, upfront cost, and model availability – and is forecast to see EV new car sales hit 52 per cent by 2030-31.

“We want new and cheaper models of EVs to be available here in NSW and this strategy is designed to drive that outcome.”

The $490 million in funding and tax cuts includes:

  • Stamp duty will be waived for eligible electric vehicles (battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) priced under $78,000 purchased from  September 1, 2021;
  • Rebates of $3000 will be offered on private purchases of the first 25,000 eligible  EVs (battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) under $68,750 sold in NSW from September 1, 2021;
  • $171 million for new charging infrastructure across the State. This includes $131 million to spend on new ultra-fast vehicle chargers, $20 million in grants for destination chargers to assist regional tourism, and $20 million for charging infrastructure at public transport hubs on Transport for NSW owned land.
  • $33 million to help transition the NSW Government passenger fleet to EVs where feasible, with the target of a fully electric fleet by 2030. These vehicles typically are onsold after three to five years, providing availability for private buyers in the second hand market.

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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