Australian Labor party announces EV-friendly policy, believes we should make batteries here

Electric Vehicles could be cheaper under the ALP....

This morning Australia’s federal Labor party, announced a new policy on Climate Change. Under this policy, electric vehicles would become cheaper, addressing one of the biggest barriers to adoption, the up front price tag.

If Labor win the next election (due some time in 2022), they will exempt EVs from charges like import taxes and fringe benefits tax. This has the potential to make car around the A$50,000 mark, around A$2,000 cheaper, but does that go far enough?

While this proposal from Labor is a great step forward from the Coalition’s hostile response to Electric Vehicles, many other countries offer tax credit or rebate programs of up between $5,000 and 10,000. The question is, would you buy a car at $48,000 instead of $50,000? For most I expect this will not be a make or break decision. On the flip side, if you were to apply a 5 – 10 thousand dollar discount on something like the MG ZS EV, you’d see the price fall as low as $33,990, a price point many Australian’s buy at.

The opposition has stipulated that the plan would be designed around non-luxury vehicles, setting the price tag at vehicles less than A$72,565. Interestingly, in Victoria at least, Tesla’s Model 3 SR+ would come in under that number, currently priced at A$72,262 drive away.

Generally speaking we’d be talking about cars like:

  • MG ZS EV
  • Hyndai Kona
  • Nissan Leave (gen 2)
  • Renault Zoe
  • Tesla Model 3 SR+

Given the proposal would begin July 2022 there will hopefully be another few EVs on the market in this price bracket by then.

On top of the EV discounts, the Australian Labor Party is committing to install 400 “community batteries” in suburbs. That’s fairly vague, but we can assume that these batteries will form part of a virtual power plant, which captures energy from solar panels during the day, for distribution at night, making power more affordable. The location and supplier of these are yet to be determined, however Tesla’s MegaPack could be a good candidate, given their success in Australia to date.

It looks like these community batteries could be 500kWh in size, which could support up to 250 households. Assuming all 400 batteries were that same capacity, we’re talking about a combined resource that has 200,000kWh.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen was joined by the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese at a Nissan dealer in Western Sydney for the announcement.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
One Comment

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  • Brett
    31 March 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Any tax break for electric car purchasers is better than nothing. However a reduction of $2000 won’t be much of an encouragement for people to buy an electric car who weren’t already thinking of buying one. What I am mostly concerned about is other states jumping on the Dan Andrews Victorian government wagon and introducing a road tax specific to electric cars only. It’s a myth that the states are losing out on fuel levy due to electric car owners not buying fuel. The federal government collects the fuel levy not the states and the small number of electric cars on the road at the moment in Australia will not have made any measurable reduction in the tax gathered by federal government via the fuel levy. The electric car tax proposed by the Victorian government appears to me to simply be a shameless tax grab as they are bringing in a new tax to replace revenue that they never receive. I don’t have a problem with road taxes as long as they apply to all types of road vehicles and are fair, equitable and efficient. How will the Victorian government monitor the number of km driven each year when they don’t have annual vehicle inspections like NSW?

    I have owned a Tesla Model 3 performance stealth since September 2019 and I paid a significant amount of tax to the state and federal governments at the time of purchase comprised of stamp duty, GST and Luxury Car tax. I don’t consider the base model performance to be a luxury car as the interior and exterior are indistinguishable from the Model 3 SR+ (apart from two small badges on the boot and faster acceleration). I bought this car specifically for the ground clearance, biggest battery and longest range as electric car charging stations are primarily located on major highways and my wife and I like to visit more rural areas. The main reason for the extra cost of my car versus the SR+ is the extra batteries.

    Batteries are expensive at this time but should not be considered to be a luxury item. Prior to GST there was a large tax on soap as it was considered by the regressive laws of its time to be a luxury as well. Soap is essential for hygiene and electric cars with large batteries are essential for long distance zero emission travel.

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