The Greens want buyers of electric cars in Canberra to get a huge financial 'leg up'
Buyers of electric vehicles will receive a $10,000 subsidy toward their purchase under the Greens' plan to accelerate the ACT's take-up of zero-emission vehicles.
The Greens have also confirmed that key elements of their "electric vehicle revolution" would be included in any parliamentary agreement should they win the balance of power, as exists in the current ACT Assembly.
The Greens would set aside $50 million to fund their electric vehicle incentive program.
The $10,000 per car subsidy would provide a huge boost for small businesses like Ion DNA, a Fyshwick direct importer and retailer of second-hand electric cars.
Rob Ogilvie, who set up his business over a year ago, said the "common sense" move to extend the subsidy to include used vehicles would lower the price point to a level where a lot more people could afford an electric vehicle.
"A subsidy makes great sense; it's how other markets have got going initially and it suddenly makes owning an electric car in Canberra a very affordable and sensible proposition," he said.
"This is exactly the kick-start that the electric vehicle industry here needs to get customers engaged and interested."
California kick-started its "clean vehicle rebate program" with a $US7000 subsidy which extended to include hybrids like the Toyota Prius.
Greens leader and ACT Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury said an artificial stimulus of this kind would generate demand in the ACT, and in turn create greater market competition.
"By generating the demand, dealers bring in more cars, the market becomes more competitive, and competition forces the prices down," he said.
"In countries like Norway where EV sales have really taken off, the government subsidy has provided that initial important stimulus.
"People start to do their math on the reduced purchase price and low running costs and realise it just makes good sense."
The party also wants 50 new charging stations across the ACT, with incentives for stations in multi-unit residential and commercial buildings.
The ACT Greens' push on EVs comes at a time when federally, the Commonwealth has stalled an important decision to mandate tougher emission standards for motor vehicles.
In the lobbying duel between the car industry, which is hamstrung by Australia's poor quality fuel, and the heavyweights of the fuel industry, the car companies lost out completely and now will need to wait until 2027, when the oil companies will have fully transitioned their refinery technology, to see tougher vehicle emission standards mandated.
Meanwhile, the Greens aim to make Canberra the "electric vehicle capital" within a decade.
"A lack of government support has left Australia languishing when it comes to zero-emission vehicles," Mr Rattenbury said.
"Our policy will turn this around, making electric vehicles more available, affordable and convenient."
The Canberra Times
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