Under the new agreement signed between the Greens and Labor, the ACT is authorized to give zero-interests for the subsidiary of new and old EVs purchases. The cost of electric vehicles is expected to decrease rapidly once the zero-interest loans start to operate. This means that buying an EV in Canberra would be cheaper than to any other place in Australia.
The Greens had a superior electoral performance that enabled them to influence the start of their rEVolution program. According to the Greens’ policy, 90% of all new vehicles sold within ten years will be zero-emissions and make it 100% by 2035. The program also intends to transition all garbage trucks, taxis, and public transport vehicles to zero-emissions by 2035.
The Labor-Greens agreement has fewer goals compared to the one in the Greens’ initial program, which would have accelerated Canberra’s adoption of electric vehicles by far. In the original Green’s pre-election promise, a $28.5 million fund was to be used as subsidises to purchase electric vehicles by up to $10,000. In that pledge, $5,000 would be given as a zero-interest loan and the other $5,000 as a direct subsidy. However, this has been moderated in the new agreement.
The zero-interest program has replaced other electric vehicle subsidy like the one that was in California. The program gives up to $15,000 to households and not profit-based organizations. The program also promises free vehicle registration for all-electric vehicles. As of now, in the ACT, one does not pay stump duty after purchasing a zero-emission vehicle and is given a 20% discount on the registration fee.
The first priority will be to build over 50 EV recharging stations all over Canberra and other regions. It also calls for the need of service station providers to have big public charging infrastructure. The program says the charging stations must be in the Territory Plan Review to ensure all buildings, whether residential or commercial, have charging stations.
The higher prices of purchasing electric vehicles have been the main hindrance to the faster adoption of EVs in Australia. So far, only five vehicles that are yet to be released are considered to be relatively affordable. These include Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona, and Ioniq.
Subsidies, rebates, and tax credits have been the major attributes for the fast uptake of EVs worldwide. The most successful electric vehicle market is China, where over 144,000 new energy vehicles were sold in September 2019.