Victoria continues to experience healthy participation in its recently announced electric vehicle subsidy, the first of its type in Australia, with registrations of interest passing the 700-mark four weeks after the offer was first opened on May 02.

State energy and environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Tuesday that Solar Victoria had received 709 registrations of interest in the Zero Emission Vehicle Subsidy in the first month of the scheme. That compares to 436 new EVs bought across the entire country in May, not including Tesla.

The ZRV subsidy, which was introduced by the Labor Andrews government amid criticism of its proposed road tax for EVs that comes into effect from July, offers a $3,000 rebate for cars priced under $68,700.

The scheme aims to subsidise up to 20,000 purchases of zero emissions vehicles, although the scope of the rebate may be altered after the initial offering of 4,000 customers is complete.

And while the monthly figure marks a slow down in the pace of uptake compared to 400 registrations in the scheme’s first week, 709 is an encouraging number against Australia’s poor track record for electric vehicle uptake. In Victoria, for instance, total sales of EVs in 2019 was just over 800, not including Tesla cars.

“Zero emissions vehicles are the future in Victoria as we work to halve our emissions by 2030,” said D’Ambrosio in comments to The Driven.

“That’s why we’re rolling out $3,000 subsidies to get more ZEVs on our roads,  to help us achieve our target that half of all new car sales are ZEVs by 2030.”

Any slowdown in uptake of the subsidy might also reflect the small number of electric vehicles that qualify under the scheme’s price ceiling, although Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan has said that the details of how the rebates will be delivered was still being nutted out with manufacturers and dealers.

“The goverment has been open that it will revisit the program. whether the value changes or the rebate changes is something that will be looked at for the next tranche,” Krpan said.

The Victoria government has also committed to buying 400 new EVs to add to its fleet, and Krpan noted that Solar Victoria had had charging stations installed at its Morwell offices in anticipation of the new arrivals.

Extracted in full from: Victoria secures 700-plus registrations for electric vehicle rebate in first month (