NSW Unveils Support Package for EV Uptake

NSW, it seems, has bitten the bullet on electric vehicles (EVs), and last month unveiled a $490 million package to incentivise the uptake of zero-emission vehicles.

The package will, from 1 September, offer rebates of $3000 for the first 25,000 EVs sold for under $68,750 and remove stamp duty from EVs under $78,000. There will also be incentives to help local councils and businesses buy EVs, and an investment of $171 million over four years in improving charging coverage.

$131 million is to be spent on new ultra-fast vehicle chargers, $20 million in grants for destination chargers to assist regional tourism, and $20 million for charging infrastructure at public transport hubs.

This investment will see ‘EV Tourist Drives’ created across the state, with ultra-fast chargers built at 100km intervals across all major highways in NSW. The aim here is of making it easier for city-based and regional EV drivers to travel in regional areas. That’s a nice touch.

There will be $33 million to help transition the NSW Government passenger fleet to EVs where feasible, with the target of a fully electric fleet by 2030. With these vehicles typically on-sold after three to five years, the government says they will provide availability for private buyers in the second-hand market.

“Countries and car makers around the world are moving to EVs and NSW consumers deserve access to the latest vehicle models when they go to buy a car,” said Matt Kean, NSW Energy and Environment Minister, in a statement.

“We also know that, with new cars staying on the road 15 years on average, the vast majority of new cars sold in NSW need to be EVs by 2035 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Our aim is to increase EV sales to more than 50 per cent of new cars sold in NSW by 2030 and for EVs to be the vast majority of new cars sold in the State by 2035.

“This nation-leading plan will help us achieve these objectives by tackling the three biggest barriers to purchasing an EV – range anxiety, upfront cost, and model availability – and is forecast to see EV new car sales hit 52 per cent by 2030-31.

“We want new and cheaper models of EVs to be available here in NSW and this strategy is designed to drive that outcome.”

There is a nugget of bad news in amongst the good as from 1 July 2027, or when EVs make up at least 30 per cent of new car sales, a road user charge – of 2.5c/km for EVs and 2.0c/km for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) – will be introduced.

On the whole, it seems the NSW EV strategy has been met with support from the automotive industry and other stakeholders.
Several OEM’s and industry organisations, including the Electrical Vehicle Council, were all somewhat positive over the move with some also advocating that other states and territories, and the federal government, follow NSW’ lead.

“World leaders from California to the United Kingdom have policies to turbo-charge the transition to electric vehicles and capture the abundant economic, health, and environmental benefits. Today New South Wales has stepped up to stand amongst them,” said Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari in a statement.

He later added that “The NSW Government has set the pace for the other states of Australia. Unless they want to see themselves lapped by the Premier State they will look to replicate New South Wales’ smart thinking very quickly.”

Volvo, which has committed to becoming a fully electric car company by 2030, also praised NSW’s move while encouraging the federal government to follow suit.

“In less than a decade we intend to only sell fully electric cars and, phase out any car in our global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids,” said Volvo Car Australia Managing Director, Stephen Connor in a press release.

“This will allow us to meet the expectations of our customers and be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change.

Other car makers have announced similar plans.

“We urge the federal government, and other states and territories, to recognise this reality, and fast track their electric vehicle strategies. This is crucial to ensure Australia does not lag behind the global car market which is responding to the seismic technological change that is underway.”

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (July 2021) 

8 July 2021

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