anberrans who buy an electric vehicle can now get two years’ free registration under an ACT government plan to get more zero-emission cars on the road.
Free registration is available to Canberrans who buy a new or second-hand zero-emissions vehicle from today until mid-2024.
Vehicles that have been converted to electric and certified will also qualify for the saving — worth up to $1,200.
Zero-emission vehicles are also exempt from motor vehicle stamp duty and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the combined savings would help close the price gap between EVs and petrol-powered cars.
“The registration and stamp duty combined savings can represent up to 4 to 5 per cent of the cost of the vehicle so it’s a significant saving for the consumer,” he said.
“We are the most EV supportive city in Australia and I think this new initiative will further accelerate the take up of these zero-emission vehicles.”
There are nearly 1,000 EVs registered in the territory and Mr Barr said he expected the new incentives would see more EVs in showrooms soon.
“We can expect the number of vehicles and vehicle types coming into the market to increase rapidly,” he said.
“The number of models available is going to explode from dozens to hundreds.
“The price [of an EV] will continue to fall, and what we’re trying to do is accelerate that take-up.”
The ACT government is also offering interest-free loans for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.
More charging stations to address ‘range anxiety’
The territory government is also moving to address the “range anxiety” among would-be EV drivers who are concerned about a lack of charging stations.
Mr Barr said 50 more charging points would be rolled out across Canberra over the next 12 months, and he expected that number would climb into the hundreds over the next five years.
“The planning code is also in the process of being amended to require EV charging points in new multi-apartment builds,” he said.
“We could go down the regulatory path, we could ultimately seek to mandate that every petrol station has EV charging points.”
With some car manufacturers planning to stop making petrol-powered vehicles by 2035, ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said EVs were simply the “future of motoring”.
The ACT now has 60 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions coming from transport, this underlines the absolute necessity of getting this job done, of getting people into zero-emission vehicles,” he said.
“In the ACT, with 100 per cent renewable electricity, when you charge your car, you know you’re getting it from a clean source and your car truly is a zero-emissions vehicle.”
Mr Rattenbury said more action was still needed from the federal government to encourage EV uptake.
“Government leadership helps the industry take off,” he said.
“The federal government could play and enormous role but so far they have in fact almost actively discouraged people from taking up electric vehicles.”
Mr Rattenbury urged his federal and state counterparts to follow the ACT’s lead and transition their public vehicle fleets.
“We’ve now got more than 140 zero-emissions vehicles in the ACT government fleet, we understand it’s the largest zero-emissions fleet in Australia,” he said.