What We're Doing
Thinking of buying an EV? Then read on … or even better, tune in!
As a new co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Electric Vehicles and Future Fuels, I recently advocated for EV investment on the Electric Vehicle Podcast, Watts Under the Bonnet, with Nadine Armstrong. You can listen in below to hear more about what we’re doing to get more EVs on the road.
The Albanese Government passed legislation in November 2022 to exempt eligible EVs from fringe benefits tax (FBT) and the 5% import tariff to make them more affordable. State and territory governments are also amending registration and stamp duty for EVs. This will lower their upfront cost and encourage uptake. To increase accessibility, the Albanese Government has committed to a target of 75% new and leased vehicles in the Commonwealth fleet to be EVs by 2025. State and territory governments are also intending to bring more EVs into their fleets. The transition of the Commonwealth and subnational fleets will make more EVs available on the second-hand market for Australians.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022 introduced by the Albanese Government has now passed both Houses of Parliament. This bill is good for motorists, good for business and their staff, and good for the environment.
- The Albanese Government will remove the 5% import tariff on eligible electric cars.
- The FBT exemption will apply to battery electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and plug in hybrid electric cars. The exemption will be available for eligible electric cars with a first retail price below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel efficient cars ($84,916 for 2022 23), and first made available for use on or after 1 July 2022. The FBT Exemption will save $9000 for a $50,000 car provided by an employer.
When we came to government, EVs were stuck at only 2% of all new car sales. Now, they are at 7% and rising thanks to strong market signals from the Albanese Government. Our target is that by 2030, 50% of all new cars sales will be EVs.
Our goals are clear:
- Make EVs more affordable.
- Expand EV uptake and choice.
- Reduce emissions.
- Save Australians money on fuel.
- Increase local manufacturing.
National Electric Vehicle Strategy
- We released Australia’s first ever National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
- A key part of the strategy will be introducing a Fuel Efficiency Standard.
- We are currently consulting with industry and the community to finalise the details of this. Over 80% of the global car market has vehicle fuel efficiency standards that outline how much carbon dioxide a car will produce when running. Currently, Australia and Russia are the only major economics without these.
- Introducing fuel efficiency standards will increase the supply of EVs in Australia and reduce fuel costs for Australians. It is estimated that they could save motorists $519 a year in fuel costs.
- We’re preparing a recycling, reuse and stewardship initiative for EVs and other large format batteries that will be world leading.
Making EVs more accessible
- Upfront costs are a huge barrier for Australians when considering whether or not to buy an EV. We’re providing $40 million in support for discounted loans on the cleanest vehicles.
- Discounted financing on EVs under $90,000 with strong emissions standards will help drive growth of the Australian market while providing access to cleaner and cheaper cars.
- We’re putting 1,000 EVs in the hands of Australian businesses. We’re providing $6.2 million in funding towards a project which will help business owners switch to EVs.
A charging network to connect all of Australia.
- The Albanese Government’s $500 million Driving the Nation Fund will establish a national EV charging network and a hydrogen refuelling network on major highways.
- Charging stations will be available at an average interval of 150km on major roads. We’re making range anxiety a thing of the past.
- The federal government will coordinate public investment to make sure it does not duplicate or crowd out private or state and territory government efforts.
Value adding with on-shore manufacturing
The Australian Government is developing a National Battery Strategy supported by its $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. This will drive investment across a range of activities, including clean energy, transport and component manufacturing.
Australia is the largest producer of lithium, 3rd largest producer of cobalt and the 5th largest producer of nickel. Yet most of the resources extracted in Australia are processed overseas. The Albanese Government intends to build downstream mineral processing capabilities. Our National Battery Strategy intends to develop a Battery Manufacturing Precinct in Queensland. Our $1 billion Value Adding in Resources Fund will ensure that a greater share of Australia’s raw materials are processed here.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) are working to speed up investment green transport solutions. The CEFC is financing fleet and residential EVs, and associated charging infrastructure. ARENA will continue to co-invest with the private sector in EV charging and refuelling infrastructure. This work is done through the Driving the Nation Fund and other projects such as vehicle to grid and smart charging trials.
We are driving national coordination
The race to net zero demands national coordination. The Albanese Government is working with state and territory governments on a range of activities as follows:
Implementing the National Construction Code (2022) that new apartment buildings are EV ready by 1 October 2023 (as requested at the 26 August 2022 meeting of Building Ministers).
- Examining ways to incentivise EV charging at various times of the day (e.g. middle of the day or off peak).
- Plan for future vehicle- to-grid opportunities that will enable energy storage and peak demand management.
- Increased workforce skills, training and education to aid the transition (e.g. solar engineers, wind turbine specialists, EV technicians)
- Development of recycling, reuse and disposal standards for vehicles and their components (such as batteries).
The Albanese Government’s new EVs strategy and manufacturing plan are a triple win: a win for Australians, a win for the manufacturing sector and a win for the environment.
“Climate change is the threat multiplier, adding pressure to every system and every sector in society.” - Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah MP, Member for Higgins, First speech to Parliament 1 August 2022