Greens electric vehicle policy aims for 31,000 more EVs on roads by 2021

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Greens policy would offer free registration and government grants to add 31,000 electric vehicles to Australian roads in five years.

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As the major parties’ climate and environment ministers duked it out at the National Press Club, the Greens released a policy plan that aims to get 31,000 more electric vehicles on Australian roads by 2021 – up from little more than 1,000 now – and 330 more charging stations.


The plan involves subsidising EV buyers to the tune of free registration for the first five years after purchase of a fully electric vehicle, as well as providing local governments and NGOs with $50 million in grants to meet the cost gap between EVs conventional cars.

The Greens also propose providing another $151 million in grants to support the installation of EF charging stations or infrastructure by local and state governments, as well as car park operators.

The policy would also disincentivise the uptake of non-electric vehicles by increasing the luxury car tax to 50 per cent for cars worth more than $100,000

Further, it would bring electric vehicle manufacturing companies into the federal Automotive
Transformation Scheme, to grow the jobs and skills in the electric vehicle industry.

The Greens’ electric vehicle policy launch follows on from last week’s announcement of a battery storage scheme that would help more than one million Australian households install heavily discounted battery systems over the next five years.

The nearly $3 billion policy would use money “redirected” from fossil fuel tax breaks to cover up to half the cost of a new household battery storage system, up to a maximum of $5000 in the first year of the program, with the amount of the credit tapering off to $1,500 by 2021, to reflect the projected decline in technology costs.

The two policies complement each other, according to the widely held industry view that they are the two most important areas of growth in clean technology – in that EV uptake will drive improvements and cost reductions in battery storage, and cheaper, more efficient battery storage will help the proliferation of renewable energy generation.

“Our transport and electricity systems are merging, where the solar panels on our rooves and the batteries in our cars are all part of the one system,” the Greens said in their policy announcement on Wednesday.

“Evidence from other countries is that government has a crucial role to play in building the infrastructure and providing the incentives for early adoption of electric vehicles.

“EVs powered by renewables and battery storage will form a key part of our pollution-free future.”

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  1. Ken Dyer 3 years ago

    There is nothing new in this. Many countries are already doing this. But not Australia. Australia were still using horses while the rest of the world switched over to gasoline. Nothing has changed.

  2. john 3 years ago

    31000 cars I honestly think by 2021 there well be way more than that number on the road.
    By 2021 Tesla will have released its $20K US vehicle, which will be about $27 perhaps in Au dollars.
    By this time every other vehicle manufacturer will be in the market trying desperately to compete with the company that has encouraged others to join the direction that commute vehicles will move.
    I do not think there is any need to subsidize the vehicles the pure economics add up to a compelling reason to adopt.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      i doubt every other manufacture will be in the market by 2021, thats a big call given the ten year design development time that goes into radically new designs in this industry.

      Put the incentive in and take it away when no long relevant. 31,000 is a small number of cars as you rightly point out and won’t hurt to get some buzz around the EV industry. Many of us would love to see a home-grown EV in one of those empty GMH/Ford/Toyota production facilities. Now that would be worth getting behind for the government.

  3. Brunel 3 years ago

    As much as I love solar panels, this is middle class welfare I am afraid.

    I agree with increasing the LCT to 50%.

    The money should be spent to build a Gigafactory in AUS – providing jobs.

    • UTM 3 years ago

      Hi Brunel

      I am interested in the middle class welfare point that you make. I would be keen to be pointed to any work that shows this to be the case.

      My (very) basic calculations suggest that the government gets a good deal from subsidising domestic solar when you add up the value of reduced peak demand (deferred or avoided network spending), reduced capacity payments for peak generators (as we have in Western Australia), reduced fuel costs and reduced pollution.

      In fact, seeing as most of the cost of solar is paid for by the owner, you could perhaps look at it as ‘government welfare’.

      I think the benefit would be variable, but solar in the right places on the right rooftops, facing the right way could maximise the benefits suggested above. This is at least (in part) taken into account by the variable amounts of STCs you can get depending on where in Australia you are installing the solar panels.

      I think increasing the large scale target is a good thing too.

      Perhaps the point you are making is that money is better spent on large scale renewables and STC funds diverted to battery/storage production in Australia.

      I would definitely be interested to see work which shows the relative value of centralised and distributed renewable generation in relation to all of the benefits mentioned above. If storage benefits have been quantified too (again, centralised and distributed), all the better.

      Kind regards

      Adam Lippiatt

      • Brunel 3 years ago

        Look how much money is going into submarines – for how many jobs?

        A battery gigafactory will provide more jobs per billion $ than the subs.

        And the batteries will be cheaper than imported ones.

        • UTM 3 years ago

          I agree that they money could have been better spent. I understand an approach was made to Tesla re siting something in South Australia, but a positive response was not received.

          I am still interested in the middle class welfare point you made. That is the relative benefits of centralized and decentralized renewable generation. It is not the first time I have heard it and I am always keen to find out more.

          Thanks for the discussion.


          • Brunel 3 years ago

            Heard what?

            Middle class welfare = Gillard wanted a cash for clunkers handout. That does nothing for people that cannot afford a car.

            Now this proposed handout to foreign battery factories does nothing for voters who cannot afford the battery.

            NY state offered money to SolarCity to build a factory in NY state. No idea how much money South AUS offered.

            But even $2 billion from PM Shorten is still a much better deal than the subs.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      it’s called priming the pump. Australia has amongst the lowest ‘soft costs’ for PV systems and installs in the world, because we encouraged it strongly and got volume happening. The growth rate has actually fallen in all states and nationally has averaged linear growth for the last four years, despite continuing to be exponential globally, since FiTs were wound back and threats of fixed charges rising been made by the Gentailers. I say more here.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      why back Gigafactory when this country has a few technologies placed to go head to head with with ion on stationary energy that are much better suited to deep discharge cycling. they need to come down in price and that’s where investment in upscaling commercialisation could be very valuable. Or give it all to Musk (who ‘aquired’ much of the lithium iron phosphate tech from A1 by poaching their staff and settled out of court eventually) so nobody else gets started even?

  4. Chris Fraser 3 years ago

    Perceivably, the fuel excise would start to take off as well. It’d be very good if oil majors gave up their ideological indifference and invested in fast chargers.

  5. Jason 3 years ago

    My understanding of “what rego pays for” is this:

    1) Most of rego pays for rego administration. Why would they do that? Because on an average day, three or four Australians will die in or around cars. A product that dangerous gets registered and tracked. If hair dryers killed three people a day (and if one in six were bystanders who weren’t even drying their hair), you can bet you’d have to register your hair dryer and prove you had insurance for it.

    Incidentally, the 1200 road deaths a year in Australia is the safest we’ve been in a very long time; in 1970, with less than half the population and much fewer cars-per-capita, 3000 road deaths a year was somehow normal – almost 10 funerals a day.

    2) Road upkeep. What’s left over from rego is part (only a small part) of what pays to fix ongoing wear and tear of roads. This is why most states (maybe all?) charge more for rego of heavy vehicles than light ones.

    Electric cars still cause all those problems. They just do it more cleanly.

    I love the idea of making electric cars even more attractive, but I’m not convinced that rego is the way to do it.

    Reduced stamp duty I could get behind.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      you’re missing the point because
      1) this only covers some 31,000 registrations. It’s an incentive for EV not a funding proposal for VicRoads et al.
      2) EVs will be at the forefront of accident avoidance technology and driverless car technology. so that’s going directly to your concerns about safety.

      also the heavy vehicle rego doesn’t cover the extent of the extra cost to make and maintain our roads from the damage they do and extra strength required for bridges etc, it’s token at best.

  6. JET Charge 3 years ago

    31,000 EVs by 2021 is a very low number. We’ll be selling more than that every year by 2018.

  7. Rob 3 years ago

    Fantastic. Once again the Greens are way out in front when it comes to proposing intelligent action to tackle climate change and speed up the inevitable transition to a healthy renewable energy future, free of polluting fossil fuels and dangerous nuclear energy. It will be very important though to get the charging infrastructure right in order to maximise the up-take of EVs. Not everyone will be able to re-charge at home so a viable re-charging alternative will be necessary for those with no “at home re-charge” ability.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      a common standard for charring infrastructure would be an excellent start, does that exist?

      • Rob 3 years ago

        I think at the moment what exists is adaptors so that no matter what charger you find yourself at, if you have an adaptor then you can use the charger. Just like you need when travelling to different countries with different power points. No doubt the best system would be to have a globally accepted standard connector. I dare say those involved are working on that. There may be other aspects of the charging system that require standardising but I’m not sure.

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