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No stamp duty, financial rebates, access to transit lanes and more public charging - these are some of the major new incentives the New South Wales government is introducing to try to boost the sale of cleaner cars.
NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean, said the goal is to make “NSW the Norway of Australia” in terms of EV sales.
Set to be officially announced as part of this coming week’s state budget, the new plan is reportedly set to cost the government $500 million to implement. The Berejiklian government has set the ambitious goal of getting to 50 per cent of new car sales being EVs by the end of the decade. That’s in keeping with the aim of being net carbon neutral by 2050, with cars typically having 15 years on the road, the government believes these significant incentives are timely.
However, connected to these new incentives the NSW government is also set to introduce a road user charge for EVs and plug-in hybrids beginning either in 2027 or when EVs make up 30 per cent of new car sales, whichever comes first.
The stamp duty saving will apply to EVs that cost less than $78,000 beginning in September, while the first 25,000 EVs sold for less than $68,000 will get a $3000 rebate on purchase. Once the road user charge begins all EVs and PHEVs will not have to pay stamp duty.
EV drivers will also get to use T2 and T3 lanes at set times to save commuting time as another incentive.
Current EV models that meet the under-$78,000 criteria include the Tesla Model 3 ($68,425), Hyundai Kona Electric (from $62,000), Kia e-Niro (from $62,590), Mazda MX-30 (from $65,490) and MG ZS EV (from $43,990).
In terms of infrastructure, the NSW government will invest $171m on charging, with $131m of that on ‘ultra-fast’ chargers with another $20m devoted to “destination chargers”. Crucially the plan calls for chargers to be installed in areas where there is limited off-street parking, which should help make EVs more appealing to inner-city buyers who don’t have a garage to install a home charger.
The news has been welcomed by industry bodies, including the Electric Vehicle Council of Australia, and puts New South Wales at the head of the pack in terms of helping make the EV transition possible.
It has also earned praise from the car industry, with Hyundai leading the way. Hyundai chief operating officer, John Kett, hailed the plans as “world best-practice” and believes it will help drive EV sales growth.
“The New South Wales Government’s stated ambition is to make NSW the easiest state in Australia to buy and drive an Electric Vehicle,” Kett said. “This strategy goes a long way to making that a reality. We congratulate the State Government and recognise New South Wales as now setting the pace for the rest of Australia.
“Significant investment in the charging network, in both urban and regional areas, is a welcome initiative. Highly developed infrastructure provides confidence to customers and removes uncertainty around being able to charge EVs away from home.
“Providing stimulus for improving low EV adoption rates in Australia, by offering tax relief and purchase incentives for customers, is another encouraging step. We’ve seen government incentives stimulate adoption rates in advanced markets overseas and the NSW EV Strategy is at world best-practice levels in that regard.”
The topic of EV uptake and incentives has become a hot button issue for governments around Australia recently, with more steps being taken after years of inaction.
The Victorian government recently introduced a rebate for EVs owners but also became the first development market in the world to begin taxing EV drivers with its road user charge. The South Australian government is also considering a similar road user tax.
New South Wales isn’t the first state to offer EV incentives though, with buyers in the ACT receiving two years of free registration and don’t have to pay stamp duty.