Electric vehicles: SA Labor proposes no stamp duty, free rego for zero emissions cars

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SA Labor promises to waive stamp duty, five years of registration costs, on purchase of zero emissions cars, if it wins election.

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The South Australia Labor party has again waded in where the federal government appears loathe to tread, promising to waive stamp duty and five years’ worth of registration costs on new electric or zero-emission cars, if it is re-elected on March 17.

Under the incentives, announced on Friday, South Australians who bought a $40,000 electric vehicle would potentially save $2155 over five years in stamp duty and registration (see table below), the party said in a media release.

Added to the savings from avoided petrol costs, and from cheaper and less frequent servicing, the proposed policy offers consumers a significant incentive to go electric, just as the local market for mid-range EVs is set – finally – to start to grow.

And the offer of such an incentive from a government of any kind will be music to the ears of Australia’s EV industry – which lags embarrassingly behind the rest of the world.

It will also be welcomed by any and all market watchers who consider the shift to zero emissions cars crucial to Australia’s efforts to meet its Paris climate targets.

Pollution from privately owned cars, alone, is estimated to contribute around 10 per cent to Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions profile.

In South Australia, where the electricity market has been radically decarbonised, emissions from cars are the largest single source of air pollution.

While in Adelaide, alone, emissions from transport contribute about 35 per cent of the state’s total emissions – 90 per cent of which comes from private passenger cars.

“Our natural environment is our state’s most important ongoing asset, and Labor is committed to protecting our ‘clean and green’ reputation so that South Australia remains a great place to live,” said SA climate and environment minister Ian Hunt.

“Driving an electric vehicle is a good environmental choice, and with Labor’s new incentives, it also makes good financial sense.

Minimising our pollution and greenhouse gas emissions is an environmental imperative. If we can encourage more South Australians to drive cars that have a low impact on our environment, our state will continue to be a world leader when it comes to taking strong steps to combat climate change and its impacts,” he said.

The policy proposal is just the latest in a series released by SA Labor this week, as it steps up its election campaigning and increases its bet on renewable energy and clean technology.

Among them, the Labor Party has promised to offer “interest free” loans to 10,000 households to install rooftop solar and battery storage; to set a 750MW energy storage target, and; to lift its 2025 renewables target from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.

On EVs, state climate and environment minister Ian Hunter said a re-elected Weatherill government would also “continue to lobby the federal government” to do its bit to push EV uptake, by removing tariff barriers that currently apply to electric and hydrogen-powered cars.

As we noted here earlier this week, the Turnbull government’s contribution to EV market growth has been minimal, so far – an effort Greens senator Janet Rice has described as “absolutely pathetic,” particularly in comparison to what other governments are doing in Europe and Asia.

“This announcement demonstrates South Australia’s leadership in shaping the future of Australian industry,” said Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari, in response to the policy announcement.

“Electric vehicles are the future of the transport industry and it’s clear … that the SA Labor government understands the opportunity that presents. By encouraging the initial market for electric vehicles, South Australia puts itself in the driver’s seat to attract investment and create new jobs.

“South Australians will see an immediate benefit in driving cars that are much cheaper to run, bringing down the cost of dropping the kids off at school and getting to work. This is a wakeup call for all governments across Australia – it’s time to take meaningful action on electric vehicles,” Jafari said.

The federal Coalition has, however – through its Australian Renewable Energy Agency – recently backed a program called Charge Together, designed by local start-up EVenergi.

The program would used a social media and marketing campaign to identify prospective EV buyers, and use consumer research to help understand where the Australian market is going wrong on electric vehicle uptake.

EVenergi would then use this data to build a mobile app and online platform to help consumers to model the influence of rooftop solar, home batteries and electricity tariffs on a decision to buy EVs.

The idea is to optimise the buying and owning an electrical vehicle by giving customers access to significant discounts on selected EV related products and services, and by incentivising them to charge in ways that could help reduce strain on the electricity grid.

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31 Comments
  1. Chris Jones 9 months ago

    On behalf of the AEVA, I commend the measure! However I really hope it’s affordable. We look forward to the details of the plan, and what it’s implementation and phase-out will look like.
    Sincerely,
    Chris (AEVA Secretary)

    • Gyrogordini 9 months ago

      Hear, here!
      Pete (AEVA Member)

    • Peter Campbell 9 months ago

      In the ACT the stamp duty for a new EV is zero. Low emission vehicles have a lower rate than rate for average vehicles and higher than average emission vehicles have a higher than average rate of stamp duty. The encouragement of low and zero emission vehicles is affordable because of the higher rate applied to higher emission vehicles.

  2. Joe 9 months ago

    Another day and another important announcement from Premier Jay / SA Labor. Just waiting for EV Fanboy, Craig Kelly, to come out with his usual ‘words of wisdom’. Over in Germany the health and environmental damage from all those diesel cars may have turned the tide against the ICE. We await a German Government announcement to ban the diesel vehicles…the EV’s are coming.

    • Jonathan Milford 9 months ago

      Germany are going for free public transport (according to the Guardian).

      • Joe 9 months ago

        Marvellous stuff. It’s all about healthy cities for the people. Stuttgart, Motor City in Germany, is drowning in dirty air. The punters have had enough. No more diesels, free public transport to get vehicles off the road. Cities are for the people, not for motor vehicles.

        • MaxG 9 months ago

          Well, there is more to it… the debate, whether diesel cars will be banned. So car makers cheat with emission data, and the user has to pay, not fair in my books. I am all for clean air, and the user pays mantra… but there are many unanswered questions in DE. The federal lawmaker will decide in 2 hours to enact a low that makes bans possible. DE as any other member state in the EU is obliged to enforce clean EU air regulation. However, the DE law applies these law under the assumption of being ‘reasonable’. However, if you bought a diesel 3 years ago, and you live in Stuttgart, banning you from using your car does not seem reasonable. So, it will be a while before we see some action in this space. In any case, as far as DE is concerned: the diesel is dead.

          • Joe 9 months ago

            Max, I understand your point. People power will force the hand of government. No one is going to be forced to breathe dirty air forever. It is undisputed that dirty air being being shoved down the the throats of the city burghers. It can’t go on any longer, people are dying prematurely. Lets not forget that Germany decided to end Nu Clear power on the back of the Fukushima nu clear disaster and the resulting concerns raised at home in Germany. The Car Lobby is strong in Germany but so was the Nu Clear Lobby. The end of the Diesel is coming and so is the rise of the EV to replace the Diesel. Why any delay when peoples health is involved and a solution is already at hand.

      • Craig Allen 9 months ago

        I’ve heard that the cost of the ticket machines plus inspectors in Victoria is barely covered by the income they get from the fares collected. So yes free public transport is a very good idea. Then patronage would increase further, road congestion would ease and the givernment could save on road construction.

        • Greg Hudson 9 months ago

          IMO the last thing we need in Melbourne is more people on public transport. As it is, the trains are packed in like Japanese sardines (during peak hours). Making travel free during non peak hours is a better idea. Shift the workers to starting later / finishing later and travel free.

  3. Ken Dyer 9 months ago

    I can fly from Queensland, buy an EV in South Australia without paying stamp duty and rego, and then I will drive it back to Queensland. Seems like a good deal, and I wont have to fill up with petrol. A good holiday opportunity.

    • Viv 9 months ago

      Qld already has a stamp duty discount for EVs. 2%

      • Ken Dyer 9 months ago

        Thanks Viv, The discount is a bit more. Just did the calc on the Queensland roads website. A $50,000 vehicle: 4 Cylinder ICE – $1500,;EV- $1000. More like 33%.
        South Australia $50000 vehicle: $1940 for both ICS and EV.

        Having said that, if Governments are serious about reducing the road toll, they should try to reduce the number of old vehicles on our roads. The average age of motor vehicles in Australia is over 10 years old. It would be a simple matter to offer an incentive for people to crush their vehicles 10 years and older if they buy an EV.

    • Andy Saunders 9 months ago

      Dunno about Qld, but if you bring a private car into NSW you have only a few weeks to transfer the rego (and then start copping the annual fees)

      • Peter Campbell 9 months ago

        and, I think, pay stamp duty!

  4. Pete 9 months ago

    Great idea. If the Feds in Canberra dropped the luxury car tax on EVs as well then the take-up would rapidly accelerate. Driving a low emission car is not a luxury, it’s a necessity!

    • Ken Dyer 9 months ago

      Luxury Car Tax is $75, 526, so would apply to a Tesla and BMWi3. Renault, Hyundai and Nissan will be bringing in EV models in 2018 that should come in at about $50000.

      • Gyrogordini 9 months ago

        I3 can scrape in, depending on options. But the point stands, the LCT is false protection from a bygone error, and it’s just another regressive TAX. It needs to be swept away as the COALition continues to bang on about “red tape reduction”.

        • Nick Kemp 9 months ago

          Just a ‘great big tax’ – wait a sec, who was it who used to endlessly repeat that?

          • Gyrogordini 9 months ago

            Yep, funny how that one can’t be repealed like the other one…

      • Greg Hudson 9 months ago

        I had a look at EV’s on CarSales.com.au yesterday (which by the way, you can now sort by ‘fuel type’ ELECTRIC). CS seem to be listening to suggestions… Anyway, The new 2018 Renault Zoe is now available (just OVER $50k and only slightly less than a BMW i3. Given the choice, who’s going to choose a Renault over a BMW ?

        • Ken Dyer 9 months ago

          Here is a comparison from 2017

  5. john 9 months ago

    Zero cost to buy an EV good
    lets look at charging
    .https://www.plugshare.com/
    This shows you charging yes all over the world.

  6. Ian 9 months ago

    Give the man a hug and a fist pump, at last, acknowledging the need to promote EV.

    • Ian Hercus 8 months ago

      How about let the market decide.
      No subsidies for EV.
      If it’s the future as u fan boys claim, it won’t need them, any more than petrol cars did in taking over from horse and cart.

  7. larry w 9 months ago

    Our so called leaders have let us down in too many areas…all areas actually. They are a disgrace .

  8. michael nolan 9 months ago

    South Australia looking more and more like Australia’s version of California every day!
    Leadership vacuum on EV’s at Federal level, so Weatherill stepping in to marry renewable generation, batteries and electric car economy.

  9. Alexander Dudley 9 months ago

    Given that China is increasing it’s military dominance of the south China sea, it has the potential to turn off the petrol tap at any time. Switching to (and manufacturing) EVs is a strategic necessity for this country’s survival. This has not been raised in ANY political discussion.

    • Peter Campbell 9 months ago

      I raise this point routinely whenever I detect that I am talking to someone who is not persuaded by environmental arguments or is even hostile to them.

  10. RobertO 9 months ago

    Hi All, Australia need to move forward and use it’s own minerals to manufacture the things it need. Any minerial exported in raw form need to have a value added service fee to pay for maunfacturing in Australia (a way of replacing excise tax on fuels as we move to RE). It need to start at say $2.00 per ton (or part of a ton) and we may have to increase it over time. Coal, Iron Ore Bauxite all would be included. Processed to final use would be exempt so copper made into building wire would be exempt but copper ingots would pay. Because it a Value Added Service Fee it not a taxable deduction. This would also increase employment in Australia

  11. Greg Hudson 9 months ago

    SA should follow Norway’s idea… slug the FF cars with a huge increase in fees to pay for the loss of income on the EV’s. The FF tax increase would probably also increase the incentive to go electric. The bigger the FF tax, the more people will go EV.

Comments are closed.