19 Jun, 2017

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor calls for national incentives on electric vehicles

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese has today called on the Federal Government to develop a national policy and incentives to encourage the importation and sale of electric vehicles in Australia.

In a motion put forward at the Australian Local Government Association General Assembly held in Canberra today, the Lord Mayor also requested the establishment of a Federal Interstate Registration Scheme for electric vehicles to encourage a national approach to rules and regulations that govern the use of electric vehicles, as well as consistent vehicle charging infrastructure across the nation.

The Lord Mayor said that this approach would help increase the number of new generation all-electric vehicles on our roads.

“With a desire to be the world’s first carbon neutral city, Adelaide is taking a lead role in addressing climate change by looking at ways to reduce carbon emissions and toxic fumes from the exhaust of combustion motor vehicles.

“Some 40 per cent of carbon emissions in the city are related to vehicles and a move toward the electric and hybrid vehicles will help to reduce this and achieve the carbon neutral goal.

“A nationally consistent approach to registering and collecting information on electric and hybrid vehicles may reduce the level of red tape associated with the sale of these vehicles. Other national incentives could also be considered in relation to importation and other levers the Federal government has at its disposal.

“Action by the Federal Government in conjunction with the States and Territories could have a profound positive impact on increasing the level of electric and hybrid vehicles sales.”

According to the Motor Vehicle Census Australia, there were 18.4 million registered motor vehicles in Australia as at 31 January 2016. This Census recorded only 3,487 electric vehicles. Despite this, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it is clear that the number of such vehicles is increasing.

Cumulative global sales of plug-in electric passenger cars and light utility vehicles reached two million in December 2016, of which 38 per cent were sold globally in 2016.

From available data per capita, Australia is not taking up electric and hybrid vehicles at the same rate as some other countries. In Norway 1 in 100 registered vehicles are electric plug in. Of the 1.2 million vehicles sold in Australia last year, only one fifth of one percent of these was electric.

The Lord Mayor hopes that the Australian Local Government Association will encourage the Federal Government to turn Australian into a leader in the sale of electric vehicles, consider exempting electric vehicles from the luxury car tax and GST, consider tightening vehicle emission regulations, and consider direct incentives and subsidies.

“Only ten years ago few would have thought that rooftop solar PV would be as popular as it is today,” said Martin.

“The success of solar PV in South Australia is a result of Federal Government incentives provided to stimulate demand. Solar PV is now mainstream.

“Federal Government market stimulus is required to drive greater demand for electric vehicles in Australia. Greater sales volumes will drive prices downward, reduce emissions and reduce motoring costs for commuters.”

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Paula Stevens