Zero-interest loans coming for ACT electric car buyers

The ACT will be the only jurisdiction in Australia to offer zero-interest loans to help subsidise new and used electric vehicle purchases under the new governing agreement signed between Labor and the Greens.

Electric vehicles will be cheaper to buy in Canberra than anywhere in Australia once the zero-interest deal kicks in as part of a key pre-election promise made by the Greens.

The party had its political hand strengthened by claiming six seats across the the territory in the recent ACT election and took an ambitious pledge on electric cars to the election, whereas the two major parties generally avoided the issue completely.

 The Greens' strong electoral performance has given them the clout to kickstart their "rEVolution" program, which included a policy intention of making 90 per cent of all new cars sold in the ACT zero-emissions within 10 years, and 100 per cent of vehicles by 2035.

It also aimed to transition all public transport, garbage trucks, taxi and rideshare vehicles to zero-emissions by 2035.

It also aims to push the need for vehicle charging stations into the Territory Plan review, with a view to ensuring any multi-unit residential and commercial buildings have stations fitted, "and investigate measures to support retrofitting of charging infrastructure in existing buildings".

High purchase prices have been one of the major stumbling blocks to the faster uptake of electric vehicles in Australia.

Only five vehicles - the soon-to-be-released MG ZS EV, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric and Ioniq, and Renault Zoe - could be regarded as affordable for the average new car buyer.

Throughout the world, rebates, subsidies and tax credits have provided a major stimulus for the uptake of electric vehicle sales.

One of the most successful markets was China, which classifies its electric cars as "new energy vehicles" and has been the world's largest plug-in electric vehicle market for six years since a major EV subsidy program kicked off in 2011.

In September alone, there were 144,000 "new energy vehicles" sold in China, with subsidies starting at $A3400.

The Canberra Times

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