Thrifty rental cars has added a Tesla Model S to its fleet at Canberra Airport, with the luxury electric vehicle now available to rent in Australia through a mainstream rental firm for the first time.
The rental company may have been expected to choose Sydney or Melbourne as its first destination for a Rent-A-Tesla, but parent company - the NRMA - has good reason for siding with the Nation’s Capital.
The Australian Capital Territory Government, now virtually assured of a fifth consecutive term (albeit as a minority government in a forced coalition with the Greens), has previously declared its intentions to earn more revenue through higher rates - rather than stamp duty which has proven to be a cash cow of eye-watering proportions in other states.
To that end, the ACT is the only state or territory in Australia to afford buyers anything close to a ‘rebate’ for EVs purchases.
It’s a small gesture in reality, but with no stamp duty on EVs registered for the first time in the Capital the Model S and Model X are cheaper in Canberra than anywhere else in Australia.
Annual registration fees still apply, but a very modest discount on these fees is a further offering from the ACT government to drivers of ‘green’ cars (including those running on LPG).
And it’s these discounts that the NRMA wants all of the other states to note.
“Tesla opens the door to what the future of mobility in Australia will look like and we are thrilled to be making this available to our Thrifty customers in the ACT soon,” NRMA Group CEO, Rohan Lund, said.
“[We] call on other state and territory governments to remove unnecessary red tape, fees and charges that might hold this technology back. We are also very much committed to investing our own capital to achieve these goals and today’s announcement is just the start.”
Mr Lund acknowledged that Tesla ownership was beyond the financial reaches of many, but added that the Tesla experience was now available to more customers - if only for a short time.
“[The Tesla program] also gives an insight on how an organisation like Thrifty will adopt developing autonomous technology to meet our customers’ needs in the future, especially those who face mobility challenges, such as older Australians and those living with reduced mobility,” Mr Lund said.
The Tesla Model S will be available to rent from Thrifty’s Canberra Airport outlet from next month.
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