The ACT offers the highest total incentive and the biggest registration discount for electric vehicles of all Australian states and territories, a new report has found.

As Australians increasingly turn to electric vehicles (EVs) for their next car purchase, Savvy has analysed the latest findings to provide a breakdown of what governments are doing to encourage greater EV uptake.

  • Aussie EV sales of 1.6% are significantly below global average of 9%
  • ACT offers highest total approximate incentive of $5,840
  • NSW, Queensland, SA and Victoria all offer $3,000 subsidies
  • ACT offers biggest registration discount – $1,116
  • NT is the last to announce its own EV strategy

EV sales are on the rise in Australia, as more and more Australians see the benefit of using EVs over petrol driven cars, especially amid rising inflation and fuel prices. Though becoming more popular, EV sales comprise only 1.6% of all new vehicle registrations in 2021. That said, it’s a 226% growth over the same time in 2020. This is still well below the global average of 9%.

In the first three months of 2022, Tesla’s market share has grown to a point where it now outsells popular marques such as Audi, Volvo, Lexus, and Honda.

One aspect EVs have going for them – apart from being powered by electricity which works out cheaper than a fuel equivalent – is government incentives.

In July 2021, the Northern Territory announced its own EV strategy, meaning each Australian state and territory now has incentives in place for buying electric vehicles.

Each incentive is structured differently. Some are direct incentives such as loan discounts, while other are indirect incentives such as tax breaks and other savings.

If you’re thinking of making the switch to an EV, here are the incentives available for a $50,000 EV in the various Australian states and territories.

Australian Capital Territory incentives

ACT is an outlier among the states and territories, offering interest free loans up to $15,000 to purchase EVs.

They are also waiving stamp duty for all vehicles that emit less than 130g CO2/km (which includes petrol vehicles, if applicable.) One can save $400 on a $40,000 emissions efficient car – up to $5,100 on a $100,000 SUV, for example.

ACT drivers will also enjoy two years of free registration for EVs purchased until 30 June 2024, as well as a 20% ongoing discount to annual registration fees for EVs purchased before 1 May 2021.

The government is investing in 50 public charging stations by mid-way through 2022, and another 50 after that.

New South Wales EV incentives

New South Wales has some of the country’s most comprehensive EV incentives, including a $3,000 rebate for the first 25,000 EVs priced under $68,750 sold after September 2021.

The Government will waive stamp duty (around $1,500) for EVs that cost $78,000 to buy, with all other EVs and plug-in hybrids being exempt from 1 July 2027 or when EVs make up at least 30% of new car sales.

However, this comes with a road user charge. 2.5c/km for EVs and 2c/km for HEVs from 2027, or when electric vehicles reach 30% of new car sales.

The government also is investing $171 million in a state-wide charging network.

Northern Territory EV incentives

The Northern Territory has no direct incentives for residents buying EVs. However, it will discount stamp duty on all EV sales by $1,500 between July 2022 and July 2027. EV owners can also take advantage of free registration of EVs from July 2022 to July 2027.

The government is planning a grants program to introduce electric charging from now until 2026, with at least 400 EV charging stations being installed around NT Government buildings.

Queensland EV incentives

Queenslanders can get a bit of a bargain when it comes to EVs, as the government is offering a $3,000 EV rebate for all electric vehicles under the price of $58,000.

Hybrid Electric (HEV) and EVs pay lower stamp duty than petrol driven cars – EVs worth $100,000 pay a 2% duty while those over $100K pay 4%. Their petrol or diesel (or steam!) counterparts pay between 3% and 6%. The government has also no plans to introduce a road user charge.

The government is installing 18 new fast charges to inland areas to bolster the already coastal “Queensland Electric Super Highway”. They’re planned for Charleville, Longreach, and Mt Isa, among other regional hubs.

South Australia EV incentives

South Australia is giving EV buyers a $3,000 rebate for the first 7,000 EVs priced under $68,750 sold from 28 October 2021.

There are no tax breaks on offer, but there is a three-year rego exemption for new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles registered until 30 June 2025.

They are imposing a 2.5c/km charge for EVs and 2c/km for PHEVs by 1 July 2027 or when EVs make up 30% of sales.

The government is offering a $2,000 subsidy for installation of smart chargers in up to 7,500 households, as well as a state-wide charging network planned by 2025.

Tasmania EV incentives

Tasmania isn’t offering any EV rebates, but it will waive the usual 4% stamp duty on all EV until 1 July 2023. For a $50,000 EV, this could represent a saving of $2,000.

There are no rego discounts unless you rent cars out – then you get two years of free registration.

The government isn’t imposing a road user charge. It is giving away up to $600,000 in grants to install chargers as part of their ChargeSmart program – up to $2,500 in grants for AC destination chargers and up to $50,000 grants for DC fast chargers.

Victoria EV incentives

The Victorian State Government is offering a $3,000 rebate for EVs priced below $68,740 (excluding stamp duty, registration, and CTP) for 4,000 vehicles in the first round of subsidies, with 20,000 subsidies planned in total.

Luxury low-emission vehicles, which include electric and hybrids, are exempt from the Victorian luxury duty: $1,000 on a $100,000 car, $4,200 for a $150,000 car, $9,600 on a $200,000 car and $14,400 on a $300,000 car.

EV drivers also receive a $100 annual rego discount. However, they were charged 2.5c/km for EVs and 2c/km for HEVs from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. They will be indexed annually.

The government will spend $19 million to speed up the rollout of EV charging infrastructure across regional areas.

Western Australia EV Incentives

Western Australia announced 10,000 rebates of $3,500 would be available for electric and hydrogen vehicles priced below $70,000.

It is not offering tax breaks or registration discounts. It will impose a 2.5c/km EV road user charge and 2c/km Hybrid Electric Vehicle charge from 1 July 2027. It will be pegged to rise with inflation.

The WA Government says that it will introduce plans for an EV charging network from Kununurra in the north, down the coastline to Perth and towards Esperance in the South. It also plans to introduce EV charging to Kalgoorlie.

Demand increasing

With so many incentives on offer, it may be worthwhile to look into buying EVs before they reach mass adoption, according to Bill Tsouvalas, managing director and Savvy’s car finance expert.

“While there are still new vehicle shortages in Australia due to prolonged COVID disruptions, we are seeing the demand for electric cars really increasing. This is obvious by the higher number of car loan applications customers are taking out for EVs,” Mr Tsouvalas said.

“People are prepared to buy now and wait for delivery to get the car they want. While electric vehicles are still on the expensive side, sky-high fuel prices are making the decision to go electric easier and easier. If petrol prices stay this way and the expected influx of more affordable EVs finally hit our shores, you can expect EV uptake to skyrocket.”

Extracted in full from: ACT leads Australia for electric vehicle incentives | Canberra Weekly