The 2022 Australian Federal Election has been held today and while not all votes have been counted, it is now clear that the Government will change hands. The Australian Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese have won and as such, will be in a position to implement their policies.
This won’t come without some compromise, as many independents have won seats this election, however many teal independents hold similar climate objectives.
While both major parties had committed to a target of net-zero by 2050, Labor definitely had more supportive policies now to help move us along that journey.
Labor’s policies included funding to reduce the price of electric vehicles and strategies to try and encourage more manufacturers to bring their EVs to Australia and create normal competitive market forces.
As we know, the up-front cost of electric vehicles remains high and the available selection of EVs remains limited in Australia, compared to other similar markets. Electric cars in Australia start at close to A$50,000, and just 5 are available under $60,000, with the vast majority landing at A$80k and above.
Labor says that by comparison, more than 24 EVs in the UK cost less than the converted A$60,000, with 8 cheaper than our entry price.
To help address these issues, Labor’s new policy will make exempt many electric vehicles from import tariffs and fringe benefits tax. Labor will exempt many electric cars from:
- Import tariffs – a 5% tax on some imported electric cars
If we take an example of an EV that costs A$60,000 that equates to a reduction of A$3,000 that could be removed from the driveway price of the vehicle. Assuming this federal discount can be added to the state discount, we could see as much as A$6,000 off the price of an EV, making a significant difference to those looking to buy electric.
- Fringe benefits tax – a 47% tax on electric cars that are provided through work for private use.
The FBT changes are likely to benefit businesses and encourage further fleet purchases, however, given the higher starting price of EVs, I am surprised we’re not hearing about discounts or the removal of the luxury car tax up to a threshold.
These exemptions will be available to all-electric cars below A$77,565 in 2020-21.
Under the Driving the Nation Policy, Labor committed to building EV charging infrastructure along our major highways at an average distance of 150kms across the country. As we know charging options is a key requirement to facilitate the uptake of electric vehicle and remove the issue of range anxiety for those that travel long distances or are planning holidays and road trips.
While Australia has the highest uptake of rooftop solar (per capita), at around 1 in 4 households, there’s a very low uptake of home battery storage of this captured energy. Under Labor, they will invest in community battery programs that would help neighbourhoods share energy among households in the local area, rather than be susceptible to the transmission losses of sending it back to the grid.
- Roll out 85 solar banks around Australia to ensure more households can benefit from rooftop solar.
- Install 400 community batteries across the country.
- Demonstrate Commonwealth leadership by reducing the Australian Public Service’s own emissions to net zero by 2030.