Here’s what EV buyers can expect from the new ACT Government

James Coleman 9 November 2020 76
Electric Vehicles in Civic on World EV Day

Electric vehicles at the World EV Day event in Canberra in September. Photo: Supplied.

At the beginning of the year, there were fewer than 600 plug-in vehicles registered in Canberra. Come early November and there are 1037.

More than 100 of these are Kyburz three-wheeled motorbikes used by Australia Post, while the rest are made up of electric cars and motorbikes, as well as plug-in hybrids.

This is quite surprising.

Currently the cheapest entry fee into the pure EV experience you’ll find in Australia is the Hyundai IONIQ, priced at more than $45,000. The best seller is the Tesla Model 3, starting at $69,774*. That’s quite a hurdle to get over for what is basically an ordinary car that had its petrol drivetrain replaced by a blender and some laptop batteries.

“Current ACT Government incentives are stamp-duty exemptions on new vehicles only,” Adele Craven, events coordinator for the ACT Branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA), told Region Media in October. “There’s a 20 per cent discount on the registration component of a zero-emissions vehicle. And they let us drive in the transit lane on Adelaide Avenue, which is not really a big deal.”

AEVA fully supports the ‘nation-leading actions’ of the ACT Government in delivering 100 per cent renewable energy and developing its Action Plan for Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles.

Hyundai Kona Electric with bonnet up.

The Hyundai Kona Electric towing a campervan. Photo: Supplied.

“I’d say the ACT Government is the best and the Federal Government is the worst,” Ms Craven told Region Media at AEVA’s World EV Day event in September. This was another way of saying the Morrison government is doing the square root of diddly squat in the EV department.

Teslas, for instance, are still smacked with the Federal Government’s 33 per cent luxury car tax (LCT) – a tax brought in years ago to help nurture the local car industry. The threshold was relaxed in July 2020 to $77,565 for electric and other ‘fuel-efficient’ vehicles, but the question remains: now that we really only make WeetBix and beer in Australia, why is LCT still here?

However, the ACT is hardly one to talk.

Car buyers here – no matter the make or model – are charged both GST and stamp duty. John Howard’s goods and services tax was designed to replace the various levies of the states and territories, including stamp duty.

Transport is now the ACT’s single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions at 63 per cent. In order to meet the target of net zero emissions by 2045, the local government has already vowed that all its vehicles will be electric by 2021 and the Transport Canberra bus fleet will be electric by 2040. But more remains to be done for the hoi polloi.

On the eve of the ACT election, the Greens saw an opportunity and promised subsidies of up to $10,000 and a target for 90 per cent of new cars to be emissions-free within 10 years.

With six of them making up the new ACT Government and three comprising the new ACT Cabinet, what can we reasonably expect?

On 2 November, Labor and the Greens signed a deal agreeing to form a coalition and work together for the next four years on several initiatives. Among these, new EVs will receive free registration for two years and 50 more charging stations will be built.

Of course, nothing is free. The rest of us are simply paying the difference, which is also what makes these incentives an ethical dilemma for some.

But if it helps, look at it this way: EV owners are also paying for things we use that they don’t, such as … er, it will come to me.

“It is pleasing to see the strong growth in plug-in vehicle registrations in Canberra during this year,” said AEVA ACT secretary Warwick Cathro.

“But that still means only one vehicle out of every 300 can be plugged in. We would love to see many more of Canberra’s households make the switch to an EV.”

Maybe now they will.

*CORRECTION: This article originally stated that the Tesla 3 started at $74,000.

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76 Responses to Here’s what EV buyers can expect from the new ACT Government
Ol L Ol L 7:39 am 13 Nov 20

Car registration costs should be based on the size of an engine or number of cylinders. The bigger the motor the more you pay

Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:19 pm 12 Nov 20

Robert Lang 4:54 pm 12 Nov 20 says:
“Jorge Gatica I charge my Model 3 on my own solar panels.”

Do you mount the solar panels on a trailer and tow it around?

rationalobserver rationalobserver 6:05 pm 12 Nov 20

Alas, I cant afford an EV and will have to keep driving my turbo diesel, but at least I still have my dignity and the respect of my friends.

A Nonny Mouse A Nonny Mouse 6:05 pm 12 Nov 20

Before the election, the Greens proposed up to $10K up front of which $5K would be subsidy and $5K would be a loan. Also, it was proposed to be only available for an EV below $60K. After presumably some negotiations with Labor, there is agreement for up to $15K of interest-free loan, no subsidy, for a range of emission-reducing home improvements or EVs. It was not clear in the agreement whether all of that $15K could be used on an EV.
The low interest rates these days means that it is not costing the ACT govt or tax payers very much to offer these loans.
The cheapest new electric car in Australia is a small SUV style car from MG at $40K.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:30 pm 13 Nov 20

    Small cars discriminate against big people.

Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 7:48 pm 09 Nov 20

EV vehicles aren’t emissions free, they are charged by coal generated electricity

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 8:25 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica Except for the % which is produced by Wind, Solar, Hydro etc.

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 8:35 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica Just keeping it real dude....😁

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 9:07 pm 09 Nov 20

    Con Tricolas Canberra’s electricity comes from the National grid which is mostly coal and gas generated,almost 80% in fact, I thought you were smarter

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 10:31 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica Read the link. Australia's renewable energy is at 24 % of total & growing at 2 to 3 % per year. At this rate we'll be at near 27% next year & at 30 % the year after. How long will you use the same tired old lines? I'm just trying to save your argument from an inevitable & humiliating defeat.

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 10:38 pm 09 Nov 20

    Con Tricolas it’s actually 21% do you drive an EV or hybrid vehicle? Do you have solar panels on your roof ?

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 10:41 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica Its 24%. The page I posted was updated on 8 April, 2020.

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 10:44 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica Dude being the unofficial misinformation officer in Canberra can't possibly be fulfilling for you. You can only lose this argument as renewable s grow year after year. Why do you even bother?? Are you simply trying to 'take the piss'??

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 10:44 pm 09 Nov 20

    Con Tricolas this one was updated in May 2020, says 21%

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 10:47 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica So who do we believe?? Or do we split the difference?? I'm quiet happy to do that. Both links show where the trend is going.

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 10:51 pm 09 Nov 20

    Con Tricolas I believe the department of industry, science, energy and resources

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 10:55 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica OK I'll go with your link ( even though the missing ACT stats might change the final total). The trend is the same.

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 10:57 pm 09 Nov 20

    Look at poor old coal going backwards. From your own link.

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 10:59 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica More misinformation Mr Goebbels??? Come on I waiting for the 'Communist Canberra' line...😄

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 11:04 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica AS you well know...about five per cent of ACT electricity is generated within our borders.

    The rest comes from the national electricity market ( four-fifths of the grid's power comes from non-renewable sources). But....ACT funds five different wind farms around Australia to feed energy into the national grid to make up for what Canberra consumes.

    Con Tricolas Con Tricolas 11:09 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica ''do you drive an EV or hybrid vehicle?'' No but I might just take advantage of the Greens incentives...😉

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 6:56 am 10 Nov 20

    Con Tricolas in actual fact I did drive a hybrid vehicle and I quickly got rid of it as it was useless to travel up and down the coast

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 4:54 pm 12 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica I charge my Model 3 on my own solar panels.

    Timothy Bailey Timothy Bailey 5:17 pm 12 Nov 20

    Robert Lang And EVs are real cheap and so are panels, eh? well off are you?😉and 🤨

    Peter Campbell Peter Campbell 6:42 pm 12 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica For every increase in electricity demand from EVs (or anything else), the ACT govt. has committed to matching that with power purchase agreements with renewable generators. The reverse auctions so far have resulted in cheaper electricity for the ACT than just about anywhere else.

    Furthermore, in the grid more generally, any additional demand is going to be met with more renewable generation. Nobody will build a new coal power station. The grid is only getting cleaner while petrol is getting harder to extract from ever more remote locations with ever greater associated emissions.

    Electrification of transport is inevitable.

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 8:21 pm 12 Nov 20

    Peter Campbell that will certainly help with Canberra’s 0.2 % of Australia’s 1% emissions

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 7:47 am 13 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica So I have no idea what your Homer Simpson picture refers to. I guess thats the best argument you have??

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 7:53 am 13 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica Many or most EV owners have their own solar panels. We charge our cars using sunshine. Even if we use the grid, in the ACT we now generate (either by actually producing or buying) our electricity using sustainable electricity - solar, wind, hydro.

    Even if EV's charge using the dirtiest of coal generators, its STILL cleaner than using a fossil fuel car. Why? Because fossil fuels cars are extremely inefficient - about 80% of the energy you put into the car as fuel simply makes heat. Less than 20% is used to actually move you from A to B.

    An EV electric motor is extremely efficient. Over 85% of the energy we put in is converted to movement, with very little heat or sound waste. So even powering by coal-powered electricity (which we don't), we would still;l be cleaner than a fossil fuel car.

    Factor in the also lives lost from pollution, coal dust, wars to ensure reliable oil etc, fossil fuels are so last century.

    I have explained this to you in a past discussion. You're harping on about the same issues without taking this into account means that you are either un willing or unable to learn. Middle aged man afraid of change, perhaps??

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 8:06 am 13 Nov 20

    Timothy Bailey no, I just prioritise my spending.

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 8:07 am 13 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica Jorge, I invite you for a drive in my Model 3. Seriously, message me for a time.

Murray Cox Murray Cox 9:29 am 08 Nov 20

What a silly comment comparing a petrol car with an EV

“That’s quite a hurdle to get over for what is basically an ordinary car that had its petrol drivetrain replaced by a blender and some laptop batteries.”

The power output and torque of an electric motor far exceeds that of an ICE so hardly a blender’s interesting that you might describe mining dump trucks in the same light given that most of them use electric drive trains to power the wheels in either the pure electric versions or the diesel/’s the specs for the latest version of the Tesla Model S Plaid...range >830kms...0-100km/h in <2.9 seconds and standing 1/4 in <9 seconds...some blender...some laptop batteries 🔋

Jay Asper Jay Asper 9:10 am 08 Nov 20

Make rego banded by emissions profile, EVs being the cheapest

    Timothy Bailey Timothy Bailey 5:14 pm 12 Nov 20

    If they did that a few pensioners with conventional cars might wake up and kick the Greens out next time. EVs are very expensive, and they still contribute to carbon emissions. 🤨

    Jay Asper Jay Asper 6:24 pm 12 Nov 20

    Timothy Bailey they emit 50% less if powered by coal. Seeing that ACT is 100% renewables and most EV owners have solar, then much much less

David Ward David Ward 10:22 pm 07 Nov 20

I wish Kia brought the eniro to Australia. I would have been telling over myself to get one. Now I'm going to keep my dieselgate Skoda on the road for a few more years while I keep hoping.

Peter Major Peter Major 9:34 pm 07 Nov 20

A road usage Tax to cover for the fuel excise levy they currently avoid.

    Paul Johnson Paul Johnson 3:38 pm 08 Nov 20

    Peter Major Maybe you should get an EV and then you won't have to pay it either. Then you can stop complaining about it...

    Adele Craven Adele Craven 9:04 pm 08 Nov 20

    Peter Major EV owners still contribute towards the subsidies that support fossil fuel industries.

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 4:56 pm 12 Nov 20

    Peter Major wow, what a tired old argument. Fuel excise goes into general revenue. It doesn’t pay for roads.

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 4:59 pm 12 Nov 20

    Peter Major I believe the fuel excise levy should be increased to cover to cost of sending our troops to wars in the Middle East to ensure continuing oil supplies. Not to mention the costs that climate change is wreaking on the planet. How good were those bushfires!

Nick James Nick James 8:26 pm 07 Nov 20

A far more effective (and equitable) way to reduce CO2 emissions is to help less wealthy families retire older, less efficient cars, and buy newer, more efficient ones with incentives. Much more equitable than handouts for comparatively wealthy EV buyers, but maybe not as sexy.

    Vic Hughes Vic Hughes 9:51 pm 07 Nov 20

    Nick James The Gillard government proposed that with a cash for clunkers scheme. It was quickly pointed out that may older vehicles are still fuel efficient. And the most energy that a vehicle uses is in the year it is built, distributed and sold.

    Grant Cary Grant Cary 10:05 pm 07 Nov 20

    Vic Hughes

    My E36 still does

    7.1 L/100Km.

    Vic Hughes Vic Hughes 10:23 pm 07 Nov 20

    We have a 30 year old MX5 that does better than 6 on the highway. Try getting that out of a Ford Ranga

    Keith Johnson Keith Johnson 9:23 am 08 Nov 20

    The push to get old cars off the road always comes back to government greed.

    They make nothing off old cars apart from the annual rego sting.

    New cars generate large amounts of tax revenue. GST on a new car for example.

    Buy a 30 year old car from a private seller and no GST.

    The tax man sees the price and wants his cut

    Nick James Nick James 9:25 am 08 Nov 20

    Keith Johnson govt makes 40c/L from fuel excise. So the more you drive your VS Commodore the more you're handing to the government every three days at the bowser 🤷 Plus in the ACT there are stamp duty reductions for low emissions vehicles (not just EVs).

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 9:43 am 08 Nov 20

    Nick James err that results in far more carbon mate because you have the manufacturing carbon cost and still have emissions for the life of the car...EV’s pay back their carbon cost quickly then zero emissions for the life of the vehicle there is no comparison

    Nick James Nick James 10:09 am 08 Nov 20

    Murray Cox EVs have been shown to have a carbon cost around 3 tonnes higher than ICE cars in the production phase. Of course with a bit of driving it starts to even out and then EVs pull ahead (assuming zero emissions electricity grid). But for the bulk of families out there who can't afford a $50-150k+ new EV, the immediately more effective and equitable solution is assistance to trade their 400g/km old clunker in for a 150-200g/km CO2 newer car (not necessarily brand new of course, so there goes the argument around production CO2 cost if the purchase is second hand). And don't even get me started on additional benefits such as exponentially safer vehicles (vs 10+ year old cars) for those families. The issue for the Greens is that low income households aren't really their core voting demographic. Thankfully it doesn't look like Labor has agreed to $10k handouts to wealthy households.

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 11:01 am 08 Nov 20

    Nick James ahh Nick that’s because we use fossil fuels to power our grid once renewables are running everything which will happen soon then that equation disappears and the 3 tons is incorrect an EV charged from renewable energy grid pays back its carbon debt in just 6 months efficient petrol cars never stop emitting battery tech is advancing rapidly Tesla announced a $25,000 car within 3 years and 56% reduction in battery cost as well as 54% increase in over mate now if our government incentivised EV’s instead of your plan take up would be rapid abd Ev’s are far safer than any ICE cars

    Jay Asper Jay Asper 11:20 am 08 Nov 20

    Nick James only 40% of fuel excise goes to roads, and the more miles are driven on petrol cars the most cost incurred to emissions, air pollution and respiratory health issues

    Nick James Nick James 11:22 am 08 Nov 20

    Jay Asper I'm not arguing with you. Helping low income families buy a $20k corolla to replace their 12 year old Commodore means they'll use half the fuel, emit half the CO2 and have airbags for safety. Giving an EL2 $10k to replace their BMW 320i with a Tesla has less impact and is not at all equitable.

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 11:38 am 08 Nov 20

    Nick James and that’s simply BS mate because they are still driving a car that emits carbon and now for a long long time rather than transitioning to say a second hand EV which will become available very soon your logic is incredibly flawed mate...the whole point us to stop burning fossil fuels not subsidise someone to have a fossil fuel powered car for much longer end of story

    Jay Asper Jay Asper 11:48 am 08 Nov 20

    Nick James an Ioniq BEV is only $50k and well within the range of the ACT professional class.

    The cost curve will reduce and likely price parity as fast as 2025. The second hand EV will help get it down to $20k

    Nick James Nick James 11:51 am 08 Nov 20

    Murray Cox mate every one of your rebuttals contains "soon" "announced" "very shortly" or "within 3 years." There's a bit of religious faith/zealotry in your advocacy for handouts for the wealthy. EVs already get tax breaks in the ACT, paying zero stamp duty and zero fuel excise to use the roads. You're advocating even more, which is your right, but sounds a lot like middle class welfare, and unlikely to do anything more than redistribute tax receipts upwards while influencing very few purchasing decisions.

    Nick James Nick James 11:54 am 08 Nov 20

    Jay Asper my point is throwing more money at the ACT "professional class" does nothing to help poorer families. But I also get that that's not what the Greens are really about, so fair enough.

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 12:09 pm 08 Nov 20

    Nick James no mate that’s what a transition means you numpty it takes time to move away from a mode of transport that has been relied on for a hundred took a very long time to transition from horses and carts to ICE vehicles but do you think 3 years is a long time mate U don’t...VW is releasing 35 EV models over the next 9 years but I’m thinking we will see legislation in most countries in the world to remove all petrol and diesel cars from the road within 10 years many countries already have it and many more are offering incentives to make the the US my car would have cost me $38,000 but I would have got back $7500 from the federal government in Australia my car cost me $66,000 plus in road costs and $8500 of that was stamp duty and GST if the government dropped those on EV’s alone they would see a much greater uptake but no instead we have a government looking to try to find a way to make up for the lost fuel excise with EV’s the whole point of the transition is not to make it easier for people with old cars to get into a new one it’s to stop emitting greenhouse gases and other pollutants that are harmful to health...that’s not accomplished by switching out old ICE cars for new ones that’s BS...I didn’t seek a hand out to buy my Tesla mate but I’m no longer paying for petrol or electricity so I’m saving $5-6000 per annum...that’s an investment in my book as my car will last for 20 years and it’s better than any ICE car I’ve ever owned the low income families driving an old petrol car will buy an old EV in a few years time but the government could look to help them do that with incentives as they do in other countries...again your logic is flawed unless you don’t accept that climate change is an issue...are you a climate change denier Nick?

    Nick James Nick James 12:13 pm 08 Nov 20

    Murray Cox mate that's great you can afford to buy a Tesla and you didn't need a handout beyond the other tax incentives that already exist. You just proved my point.

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 12:21 pm 08 Nov 20

    Nick James what tax incentives are those mate...answer the question are you a climate change denier because that’s the only reason you would be persisting with this argument nothing else makes don’t have a point mate you are simply waffling and making zero sense

    Jay Asper Jay Asper 12:35 pm 08 Nov 20

    Nick James you’ve completely ignored the economics of innovation curves. Early adopters always pay more. Incentives for EVs have worked well elsewhere overseas and expand the second hand market. Don’t conflate the issue for low SES families. Are you then suggesting we give $30k subsidies to bring prices down to $20k?

    I would support a cash for clunkers scheme as you suggest, but Australia has very weak emissions standards on new vehicles and preferences for SUVs has actually meant emissions standards have gotten worse not better with new vehicles

    Kevin Thompson Kevin Thompson 4:39 pm 08 Nov 20

    err and ahh man

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 4:47 pm 08 Nov 20

    Nick James I don’t live in the ACT mate...that’s the only state or territory doing anything and that’s virtually fuel excise is simply because they don’t use fuel you muppet...but as previously stated the government is considering ways to charge EV’s in alignment with no incentives for EV’s unlike the rest of the world that incentivises them...answer the question mate are you a climate change denier because the entire reason to transition is to address greenhouse gas emissions and only somebody that sees no point in doing that would hold the position you hold..tell us Nick

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 4:53 pm 08 Nov 20

    Nick James I haven’t advocated for tax breaks for me mate I’ve bought my Tesla without them It’s you that wants wealthier Australians to subsidise low income earners to buy a new Toyota Corolla mate and that’s just stupid...your advocating for benefits not me...

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 9:26 pm 09 Nov 20

    Murray Cox soon??? When???😂😂😂

    Murray Cox Murray Cox 9:31 pm 09 Nov 20

    Jorge Gatica don’t be silly Jorge...the comment about soon was in reference to secondhand EV’s becoming available soon and there’s nothing strange or comical about that mate other than your reaction...

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 10:41 am 13 Nov 20

    Grant Cary so if you drive 15,000km per year, your putting 2300kg of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.

Andrew Toal Andrew Toal 8:10 pm 07 Nov 20

And they can draw the energy from the battery when plugged into the grid as required

    Jay Asper Jay Asper 11:19 am 08 Nov 20

    Andrew Toal unfortunately V2G is only supported by the Chademo protocol: which is only found on the Leaf and Outlander PHEV. The inverter to handle this is over $10k so is more expensive than a home battery.

    I think EVs are going to soak up a lot of excess cheap solar in the daytimes which is good for high renewable grids

Georgia Clarke Georgia Clarke 8:05 pm 07 Nov 20

When the cheapest EV on the market is above $40k, free registration starts looking a lot like a tax cut for the rich...

    Chih Eric Li Chih Eric Li 8:19 pm 07 Nov 20

    Georgia Clarke how else do you think the government should push for more EV? How about double rego for ICE vehicles?

    Timothy Dutch O'Callaghan Timothy Dutch O'Callaghan 8:22 pm 07 Nov 20

    Chih Eric Li get the governemt to reduce coperate tax rate and have insentived to have them built here and export over seas, we have all the rawr materials in this country and yet we send it all over seas because of this stupid none forward thinking goverment!!!!

    Chih Eric Li Chih Eric Li 8:34 pm 07 Nov 20

    Timothy Dutch O'Callaghan indeed and I believe it is part of the Greens policy to build some electric bus in Canberra. I am unsure of its likelihood but it is in line with what you said.

    Timothy Dutch O'Callaghan Timothy Dutch O'Callaghan 8:38 pm 07 Nov 20

    Chih Eric Li this government is not interested in having any kind of industry in this state. Otherwise they would open the railway lines up to eden and have have the recycling railhead aproved in fyshwick. This states all about office workers industry is dead.

    Paul Johnson Paul Johnson 3:44 pm 08 Nov 20

    Georgia Clarke your comment had me thinking you were a Liberal voter, and clicking on your profile confirms it. When you vote for a party that is all about giving tax cuts to the rich and powerful, then complain when another party introduces an incentive to purchase vehicles for less tax to help encourage the reduction of green house gases. Perhaps you should re-think where your votes are placed in the next Federal election, cause if you don't want tax cuts for the rich, then you shouldn't be voting for Liberals.

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 9:24 pm 09 Nov 20

    Timothy Dutch O'Callaghan get real, Australia can’t compete with overseas manufacturing costs

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