Australia's New South Wales Announces New Electric Vehicle Strategy

Australia's New South Wales Announces New Electric Vehicle Strategy

The Australian state of New South Wales announced in June, 2021, that it intends to promote the use of electric vehicles. Among other things, the plan calls for expanding fast-charging infrastructure and cutting taxes. Furthermore, if you are one of the first 25,000 battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle buyers with a vehicle price under $68,750, there is a rebate. 

So it seems that the state is promoting an eco-system for electric vehicles? As usual, there's more to the story than meets the eye. You may already have heard about South Australia's per-kilometer fee on EVs if you've been paying attention to Australian electric vehicle policy for any reason.  

Those cars will pay a flat rate of 2.5 cents per kilometer, when the policy goes into effect in July 2021. In addition to recouping the fuel excise tax, supporters say this will also raise revenue. Nevertheless, some critics argue that this is one of the worst EV policies they've seen, and suggests that it's intended to discourage people from making the switch. Two-wheelers and heavier vehicles like cars and trucks have to be compared to each other on the road, but that conversation can wait until another time. 

A similar excise tax on EVs will be implemented by New South Wales as well. It is, however, delaying the implementation of that policy due to the new EV policy. How long? Well, that depends. The plan as currently written will take effect on July 1, 2027-or when 30 percent of new vehicles in the state are electric vehicles.  

On September 1, 2021, the NSW government will also eliminate stamp duty fees for electric vehicles priced under $78,000. Following the introduction of the 30 percent number in 2027, or when EV sales reach that level, all other electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will follow. The NSW government has announced the first policy of its kind for an EV program in Australia, so other states need to pay attention to how this program develops.  

How does this policy apply to electric motorcycles? The folks over at Motorbike Writer say motorcycles aren't eligible for rebate programs. A $3,000 rebate in 2021 could not be ideal, given that electric scooters can be relatively inexpensive, but electric motorcycles are mostly significantly more expensive. If this is true, then it seems nave to completely disregard two-wheelers.  

It is stated on the NSW Government's website that "Customers buying battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles under $68750 (including GST) will be eligible for a $3,000 rebate." No mention is made of the option to lease an electric vehicle. An electric vehicle must have at least four wheels in order to qualify, but motorcycles are not specifically excluded in the current language. 

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