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2018 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Supplied
 
 
Andrew Maclean | Feb, 23 2018 | 0 Comments

South Australia could introduce the first government-sanctioned electric vehicles incentives in Australia.

The state's Labour Government has promised, if it retains power in the upcoming state election later this year, to scrap stamp duty charges and will offer free registration for the first five years for new electric car customers, saving owners thousands of dollars.

The proposed policy as announced today by South Australia's Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, the Hon Ian Hunter, as the latest phase in a strategy to make Adelaide the world's first carbon neutral city and de-carbonise the state's transport system.

It follows investments in electric vehicle charging stations in key locations throughout Adelaide and its surrounding areas as well the Tesla-built battery energy storage facility.

New electric vehicle owners would still be required to pay conventional charges such as compulsary third party insurance, a Lifetime Support Scheme levy and administration fees, but the removal of stamp duty and registration would offer a saving of between $2155 for a vehicle costing $40,000 to $3755 for a vehicle costing $80,000.

"Our natural environment is our state’s most important ongoing asset, and Labor is committed to protecting our “clean and green” reputation so that South Australia remains a great place to live," Minister Hunter said.

"Driving an electric vehicle is a good environmental choice, and with Labor’s new incentives, it also makes good financial sense. Minimising our pollution and greenhouse gas emissions is an environmental imperative.

"If we can encourage more South Australians to drive cars that have a low impact on our environment, our state will continue to be a world leader when it comes to taking strong steps to combat climate change and its impacts."

The proposed policy has been welcomed by the Australian car industry, but the the Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, said the electric vehicles are not the sole solution.

“The industry’s view is that EVs, together with hybrids, hydrogen vehicles and the new generation of more efficient low emission combustion-engined cars, need to be part of the broad make-up of the national new vehicle fleet in the next decade,” Mr Weber said.

“While governments have a significant role to play in encouraging a shift in consumer behaviour, the industry believes in the need for freedom of consumer choice and in market diversity. We don’t intend to favour one vehicle technology over another because we know the huge amount of research being done around the world on future transport technologies.

“There’s some very interesting and highly efficient engine and transport technologies under development globally and it would be imprudent to back one technology when another may, in fact, offer a better solution for Australia’s market and our driving needs and lifestyles.”

Mitsubishi, which is the only car brand based in South Australia, said the move was an encouraging sign of progress from government.

“The South Australian Labor Government is showing leadership in developing a sustainable future transport industry and we applaud this proactive approach to the challenges of developing a viable electric vehicle market in Australia," Mitsubishi CEO, John Signoriello, said.

While the proposed incentives are for South Australians only, Minister Hunter said the South Australia Labour Party will "continue to lobby the Federal Government to remove the tariff barriers that currently apply to electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, to encourage more people to switch to these types of vehicles."

Currently, there are only a handful of zero emission cars on-sale in Australia, such as the Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV and the BMW i3 city car. But there is a greater proliferation of fully electric vehicles coming, including the second-generation Nissan Leaf in early 2019 and battery-only models from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and even Porsche.

 

 

 

 

 
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