Tony O'Kane | May 20, 2016

The Australian Greens has announced a radical plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Australia by increasing the luxury car tax on conventionally-fuelled cars over $100,000, and using part of those funds to provide buyers of new EVs with free registration for the first five years of ownership.

"The federal government should provide incentives for people taking up this clean and reliable source of transport, through paying the cost to the states of registering new electric vehicles for up to five years," said Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

"The old dirty power sources like diesel and coal are on their way out and we need to support industries like electric vehicles to move toward a more innovative future.”

The party’s EV plan also includes a $50 million fund to help bridge the gap in cost between conventional and electric cars up to a value of $15,000 per car, meaning a minimum of 3333 cars could be incentivised through the fund.

That assistance will only be provided to government and non-government fleet buyers, however the Greens says this will help increase the number of electric vehicles available on the used-car market - and thus the affordability of EVs to the general motorist - as those fleets are sold off.

A $151 million fund will also be established to assist local and state government agencies - as well as private car park companies - who wish to set up EV charging stations for public use. Up to $45,000 of assistance would be provided per charging station.

The plan is expected to see 31,000 additional electric cars on Australian roads by 2021, with 330 more EV charging stations spread across the country.

"You would be able to literally plug in your car to the power station at your local train station, sporting oval, swimming pool, library or while you are doing the groceries," Senator Di Natale said.

Industries involved in the manufacture of electric car components - such as Nissan Australia, which makes components for the Nissan Leaf at its Dandenong aluminium casting plant - will also be included in the Automotive Transformation Scheme to “grow the jobs and skills in the new electric vehicle industry”

The increase in Luxury Car Tax is bound to be the most contentious part of the Greens’ EV plan, however it’s worth noting that the current tax of 33 percent kicks in much lower at $75,375 for cars with average fuel consumption of under 7.0 l/100km and $63,184 for all other cars.

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