Government assistance for the green car movement in Australia has been sparse to date, but a new fund from the Feds may kick-start sales of electric vehicles.
Around 1200 motorists will benefit from a new finance assistance package, designed to make EVs more affordable.
A limited number of ‘green’ vehicles will be eligible for the scheme under The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC); a government bank of sorts.
Linked with the Macquarie Group, the CEFC will provide $100 million in low-interest loans to encourage people to choose energy-efficient cars.
Motorists who choose an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle can access a 0.7 percent discount on finance used to buy or lease a new car. Other non-electric or plug-in hybrid cars approved by the scheme will be subject to a 0.5 per cent discount.
A customer approved for six percent finance over five years on a $100,000 vehicle stands to save just shy of $1950 in interest payments.
The scheme could shift payments on a $50,000 car paid over five years at a 10 percent interest rate from $1062 to $1045 per month, saving drivers around $1000 in interest payments over the life of the loan.
CEFC spokesman Bobby Vidakovic said the deal will “offer Australians further opportunities to take advantage of proven clean energy technologies to reduce their energy consumption and, for businesses, to improve their competitiveness through energy efficient practices”.
"We are also encouraging the increased use of electric vehicles, and providing finance to support the accelerated rollout of the necessary charging infrastructure,” Vidakovic said.
“By switching to more energy efficient vehicles, businesses and individuals are contributing to better environmental outcomes through reduced carbon emissions.”
Scott Nargar, Hyundai’s manager of future mobility and government relations, welcomed the move.
“Any measure that can aid or support the introduction of zero emission vehicles such as electric or fuel cell cars is welcome,” Nargar said.
“We look forward to working with government and industry as we progress with these technologies in Australia.”
Behyad Jafari, Chair of the Electric Vehicle Council, said the initiative is “a small step relative to what we need to do”.
“We still haven’t seen an overarching national policy come through to kick-start the electric car market,” Jafari said.
“The government needs to intervene in the market and help it transition. We’re not asking the government to prop this industry up, we’re asking them to help push this along.”
Full details surrounding the scheme have not yet been made public.
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