More than tax breaks needed to sell millions
Electric vehicles are rapidly becoming cheaper as governments step up efforts to convince motorists to ditch petrol-powered cars, but proponents say more action is needed to ensure millions more can be sold before the crucial deadline of 2035.
Rebates of more than $11,000 will soon be available for Australians looking to buy an electric vehicle as the Senate considers new federal tax breaks for green vehicles which, combined with state government subsidies, aim to reduce the price raised green cars.
The changes, detailed in last month’s federal budget, will exempt electric vehicles from employee benefits tax, allowing those who purchase one as part of a wage sacrifice agreement with their employer for up to $4700.
This should encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles now, rather than 10 to 15 years from now, as Australia races to increase adoption of green technologies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
But with the price of the cheapest electric vehicle in Australia still more than double that of the cheapest petrol car, proponents argue more needs to be done to ensure millions are sold over the next two decades.
Recently, more than 100 companies and organizations – including Uber, Tesla, Microsoft, IKEA and Woolworths – called for urgent reforms and a new target that would see one million electric cars on Australian roads in the next five years.
The alliance, organized by the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC), argued that Australia needed to adopt tougher fuel efficiency standards, boost electric vehicle manufacturing and build more charging stations.
“After years of inaction since Canberra, Australia’s electric vehicle policy is now poised to ramp up and companies want to make sure we don’t miss the moment,” said EVC boss Behyad. Jafari.
“This new federal government is off to a good start and a national electric vehicle strategy announced in the first months of its mandate is an excellent development.
“But after a long period of political stagnation, we now need a strategy containing solid measures.”
Tax breaks make electric vehicles cheaper
Although the tax breaks and subsidies offered to Australians who buy electric vehicles are increasing, whether someone can access the biggest savings depends on where they live.
EVC figures show Canberra offers the biggest discounts on electric vehicles, with motorists saving up to $6,708 if they take advantage of the ACT’s $4,092 zero rate green vehicle loan.
Savings can reach $4,500 in New South Wales, $3,864 in Queensland, $3,500 in Western Australia, $3,414 in South Australia, $3,000 in Victoria and $2,465 in the Northern Territory. North.
Each state rebate will become more attractive when the federal tax breaks take effect, while there will also be an exemption from import tariffs for electric vehicles worth up to $84,000.
Ajaya Haikerwal, a clean transportation activist with advocacy group Solar Citizens, said new federal tax breaks were welcome but said they would primarily help companies build their fleets.
This is still a crucial first step, he said, as these vehicles would eventually make it onto the second-hand market, where most Australians buy their cars.
“Benefits tax is a very important element for businesses, which will be the people who buy a lot of these electric vehicles,” Haikerwal said.
More action needed
Mr Haikerwal said the main opportunity to reduce the relatively high initial cost of an electric vehicle for households is the introduction of stricter energy efficiency standards, which would force global carmakers to send their electric vehicles and latest and cheapest low-emissions.
As it stands, just over 3% of new vehicle sales in Australia are electric, compared to 16.9% in the UK and 83.7% in Norway.
“We need to have enough electric vehicles on the market,” Haikerwal said.
“People who can afford EVs right now are buying them. They’re just not available.
Climate Minister Chris Bowen earlier this year said the government would consider adopting tougher energy efficiency standards to boost electric vehicle sales, but stopped short of a commitment.
The electric vehicle alliance said such standards would be needed to get one million electric vehicles on Australian roads by 2027.
But Mr Haikerwal said that was the minimum that needed to be sold if Australia was to reach 100% electric vehicle sales by the crucial 2035 date.
Because the vehicles have a typical lifespan of 15 years on Australian roads, experts – including the Grattan Institute – argued that Australia must stop selling new petrol cars by 2035 in order to reach net zero.
“Science tells us we need deep cuts in carbon emissions and the only way to get there, according to the international energy agency, is to sell 100% electric vehicles,” Haikerwal said. .