The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has backed a $100 million finance program that aims to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia.
The program, run by Macquarie Leasing, offers a 0.7 per cent discount on finance for electric vehicles, as well as for plug-in hybrid EVs and a range of eligible energy efficient and renewable energy equipment, including rooftop solar and battery storage.
People who choose eligible lower emissions passenger vehicles can also benefit from the program, with a 0.5 per cent finance discount.
Investment in equipment to upgrade the energy efficiency of buildings, such as energy efficient lighting, building management systems and better air conditioning, can also access the discounted finance.
The CEFC is particularly keen to push the EV angle, however, in light of Australia’s notoriously slow uptake of fully electric cars – which has been exacerbated by the drought of mid-priced EV options that is currently plaguing the country.
The focus on EV’s is also due to the fact that road transport is one of Australia’s fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
It also goes a small way to addressing the issue of cost of electric cars, which for many individual drivers in Australia puts the technology out of their reach. This is particularly the case in Australia, where the only fully electric cars on the market are at the prestige price level.
Just this week, Nissan unveiled its next-generation fully electric LEAF, which will compete in the mass market, alongside Tesla’s Model 3 EV, at a price of around $US30,000. Neither model, however, is expected to become available in Australia until 2018 at the earliest – and more likely 2019.
“By making this discounted CEFC finance available through major financiers such as Macquarie Leasing, we are making it easier for Australians to prioritise clean energy options when they make major investment decisions,” said CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth in comments on Wednesday.
“By supporting the more widespread adoption of exciting clean energy solutions, such as electric vehicles, we can accelerate the decarbonisation of our economy.”
The CEFC said Macquarie Leasing would initially make the discounted finance available to customers through its existing relationships with car manufacturers.
Customers will receive a discount to Macquarie Leasing’s standard interest rate when they enter into arrangements to hire or lease or finance the purchase of vehicles that satisfy the criteria for qualifying contracts.
Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.