Looking to Buy an Electric Vehicle? These Are the Benefits to Get Around in Australia

ev rebates tax incentives australia 2022

Australia is not the most friendly country when it comes to electric vehicles. It was not very long ago that our lack of supporting infrastructure, as well as the near total lack of electric vehicle rebates, made Australia one of the most hostile markets on the planet for EVs.

That’s not to mention our last PM famously claimed that EVs would “end the weekend” because they can’t tow a boat.

But the times, as they say, as indeed changing. In Australia last year, EV sales nearly doubled in the country compared to the year before, making up 3.8% of new car sales. In 2020, they made up just 0.6%. By now, there are thought to be some 100,000 EVs on the roads in Australia, as EV sales continued to climb in the first four months of this year.

While the figures are good, Australia could still be doing a whole lot better. A recent survey found that EVs now make up 14% of all new car sales globally. In Europe, that figure climbs to 20% or one in five. In Germany, one in three new cars sold is electric.

The Labor government has set out to correct Australia’s sluggish approach with a series of reforms passed last year. In September, they released Australia’s first-ever electric vehicle strategy, detailing how they plan to lift EV uptake. The key focuses for the government are improving the affordability of cars, the charging infrastructure to support them, and increasing consumer demand.

They’re also working on a fuel efficiency standard, which will penalise manufacturers if they don’t produce vehicles that are under a certain emissions threshold.

Last year, legislation was also passed that would cut the cost of EVs by thousands. As part of an election promise, the ‘electric car discount’ wipes $2,000 off the cost of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It also makes these vehicles exempt from fringe benefits tax for businesses buying EVs for work purposes.

They also cut import tariffs and raised the luxury car tax threshold (LCT) for EVs, further driving down the price. It looks like the LCT could be scrapped entirely soon under a new deal with the EU that would see premium, high-end EVs enter the market in greater numbers.

Labor also pledged to have battery electrics make-up 75% of all government vehicles by 2025, something they’re helping others do with a $62.6 million package for business vehicle electrification.

On the infrastructure front, they’re planning to build 400 fast charging stations across the country and another 117 charging stations along key freight routes.

Still, despite these efforts, it’s the state and territory governments that are doing the heavy lifting in the electric vehicle rebate space. Over the past few years, Premiers have been vying for the title of ‘most EV friendly’ state, with serious discounts on offer in places like Queensland and New South Wales.

Here’s a round-up of what benefits are available to you and how you can save some cash using government initiatives around Australia.

NSW EV Rebate

What’s on offer 

NSW announced a $3000 rebate would be paid to the first 25,000 EVs under $68,750 bought after 1 September 2021. Given 3,650 new EVs were registered in NSW in 2021, this offer could be available for a number of years. However, the rebate cap includes delivery charges and optional extras.

If your car is over that cap, NSW still waives stamp duty for new EVs under $78,000.

EVs also get vehicle registration discounts but, from 2027, will have to pay 2c per km driven in road tax.

What’s going on

Despite the change in government in NSW, the EV strategy doesn’t appear to have shifted. That’s because, before the election, the NSW Coalition was doing everything it could to appease Teal-leaning voters and prove they weren’t the same as the federal party.

To that end, $10 million was planned for 50 new charging stations in the state, something Labor also promised before the election. This was then pumped up to an additional 86 fast and ultra-fast charging stations. The Coalition followed by going all out with a promise of 30,000 new chargers by 2026 — twice the number of current petrol pumps.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has been pretty quiet on the EV front since taking office in March. However, EV Council CEO, Behyad Jafari, has said he expects Labor will match this commitment and rates NSW as the best state when it comes to EV policy.

The state has committed itself to halving its emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2050.

ACT EV Rebate

What’s on offer

The ACT offers an interest-free loan of up to $15,000 for eligible households to buy an EV under $77,565. This loan can also be used to buy EV charging equipment too.

No stamp duty needs to be paid on new EVs in the ACT, and drivers are given two years of free registration until 2024.

What’s going on

The ACT has the most generous financial policies when it comes to EVs of any state or territory. This might explain why EVs sold in the Bush Capital make up almost 10% of the new car market.

100% of the electricity used in the ACT comes from renewable sources already, and the government is now focusing on bringing emissions down through lowering transport emissions.

Through the above policies, which they have said they are looking to increase, they plan to have electric cars make up 80-90% of all new cars bought by 2030.

QLD EV Rebate

What’s on offer

As of last year, Queensland offers a $3,000 rebate on all new EVs.

They then went one better in April, announcing a $6,000 rebate which can be claimed back to March of 2022. However, it is only for those earning a household income of less than $180,000. If you earn over, you can still get the $3,000 rebate.

QLD also offers discounted stamp duty and does not charge drivers a road tax for using their cars.

What’s going on

Queensland has historically lagged behind most of the country in its EV policies. That all changed last year with a number of announcements from the Palaszczuk government this year.

The new rebates make QLD the most attractive state to own and drive an EV. In total, drivers could save $6,688 through rebates and other discounts, the highest of anywhere in the country.

QLD is also building what they’re calling an electric vehicle super highway, allowing EVs to be driven virtually the entire length and breadth of the state — if you consider Port Douglas to be the top of QLD.

VIC EV Rebate

What’s on offer

Victoria offers a $3,000 rebate on the first 20,000 EVs under $68,740 sold – but only until 30 June.

There is also reduced stamp duty and a $100 discount on annual registration fees. High end EVs also don’t pay luxury car tax in VIC.

What’s going on

Victoria has, weirdly, set itself up as the least EV-friendly jurisdiction on the planet. They made headlines in 2021 by becoming the first place in the world to actually impose a driving tax on EVs, something NSW and WA are set to follow in 2027.

EV drivers are charged 2-2.5 cents per km driven and have to submit their odometer readings to authorities. However, the Andrews Government is currently awaiting the results of a High Court challenge over the legitimacy of this tax.

Not only this, but their $3,000 rebate scheme, launched in 2021, has wrapped up early as a cost-saving measure, with critics saying they’ll fall short on their emissions targets as a result.

The state is however investing $19 million in a new rural EV charging grid which is something at least.

SA EV Rebate

What’s on offer

SA offers a $3,000 rebate on EVs up to $68,750 for the first 7,000 cars purchased. This “may or may not” include stamp duty.

Owners will also get free registration for their first three years from 2021 until 2025.

There are also $2,000 subsidies on offer for the installation of an at-home charger, although only 7,500 of these are available.

What’s going on

South Australia is aiming for the ambitious target of 100% of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2035.

The Labor government have also said that they want to be a “national leader” in EV uptake and charging station availability.

To that end, the government has scrapped the planned imposition of an EV road tax, something the Australia Institute found was offputting to 70% of prospective SA buyers.

TAS EV Rebate

What’s on offer

Tasmania offers no rebates on purchases of EVs.

Those who buy a new EV before July 2023 will have to pay no stamp duty, which could amount to a saving of around $2,000 for an EV at the mid-upper range of the price scale.

Rental companies and coach operators will also get two years of free rego on EVs they purchase for their businesses.

What’s going on

Tasmania is one of the greenest states in the country, with 100% of its electricity coming from renewable sources. It hit net zero in 2016. It’s a bit strange then that their transport policies don’t quite match up, with some of the lowest savings on EV financing in the country.

That said, the government has invested $1.37 million in its charging network, creating 80 destination and fast charging stations in workplaces and tourism regional areas. That might not sound like a lot, but Tassie is a small place.

The Tasmanian government is also aiming to use 100% electric vehicles in its fleet by 2030.

NT EV Rebate

What’s on offer

The NT offers no stamp duty for the purchase of an EV below $50,000 until 2027, saving up to $1,500.

EV owners will also not have to pay rego fees until 2027.

There are also 100 individual $1000 grants and 80 business grants of $2500 for the purchase and installation of EV chargers.

What’s going on

The NT has been slower than the rest of the country in the uptake of EVs. In 2021, there were just 61 EVs registered in the territory.

In June last year, the NT Labor government released its EV strategy, offering the above incentives.

The government also stated that they need to plan for infrastructure changes and are currently installing 400 charging stations in NT government buildings.

Outside of government buildings, there are currently 32 charging stations in the NT. 30 of these are public, while two of them are high-powered fast chargers.

As an opening bonus, Evie, the company running the high-powered chargers, was offering free Red Rooster chips to those who use their stations. At least the government is doing a little better than that.

WA EV Rebate

What’s on offer

WA offers $3500 off the purchase of a new EV for the first 10,000 West Aussies from May 10. The rebate applies to vehicles under $70,000, inclusive of on-road costs, delivery charges, and extras.

EVs also get 10% off the transport levy.

WA will be bringing in an EV tax from 2027, charging 2 cents per km driven for hybrids and 2.5c per km for EVs.

What’s going on

For a while, WA offered no incentives to new EV owners. The state said that it was focusing on building the infrastructure to support EVs by rolling out the largest network of fast charging stations in the world, something they started in November last year. Currently, the state has 235 chargers.

But that all changed in May 2022 when WA announced the biggest EV rebate in the country, later topped by Queensland’s rebate. The $36.5 million investment is expected to remove 7000 tonnes of transport emissions per year when fully expended.

At the same time, WA announced it would be taxing EV users at $250 per 10,000 km, which is something of a mixed message.

In February, the government also launched a $15 million programme to halve the cost of EV charger installation in small businesses, NGOs, and government buildings.

Related: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying an Electric Vehicle

Related: The Cheapest Electric Vehicles in Australia in 2023

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