Australia wants YOU to have an electric vehicle

Wed, 2017-09-20 08:58 -- Doug Peeples

In its recent report "The state of electric vehicles in Australia", the Electric Vehicle Council highlighted the varied state of the electric vehicle marketplace in Australia, including the headline statistic that Australia is falling behind, representing only 0.1% of the global marketplace. And of more concern was the statistic that from 2015-2016, electric vehicle sales in Australia declined by 23%, whilst globally sales increased by 40%. A statistic that no smart cities advocate wants to hear.

The report went on further to highlight the critical need for a signal to be sent to the market that would support greater investment. And it seems this may have been partially fulfilled by the Australian Government’s announcement of $100 million in incentives to transition to greater electric vehicle uptake.

And with a strong pipeline of new EV models entering the Australian market place in the next few years, and with many at a lower price point, this could be a small perfect storm to catalyse uptake. With an evolving policy environment, and greater coordination across states and territories, we could start to see the environmental and economic benefits of EVs be realised. — Adam Beck

As part of an effort to encourage citizens to adopt electric vehicles, the Australian government has launched a financing discount for citizens who buy or lease battery electric and hybrid EVs. The offer also extends to energy efficiency and renewable energy devices.

The $100 million programme is administered by the government's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and available through Macquarie Leasing. Buyers can get a 0.7% discount on EVs and renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment. Buyers who prefer passenger vehicles with lower emissions are eligible for a 0.5% discount on vehicles that qualify.

The financing discounts are funded through the Sustainable Cities Investment Programme, which contributes to the country's Smart Cities Plan by investing in technologies that improve Australian cities. Among the technology investment targets are renewable energy, energy efficiency and emissions reduction.

The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP explained in an OpenGov article, "Electric vehicles will play a big role in terms of creating more sustainable cities with less pollution and improved health outcomes for our communities. By providing discounted finance through the CEFC, it is hoped we can encourage a greater uptake of electric vehicles and reduce emissions." Frydenberg added the financing initiative is one approach the government is taking to meet its Paris Agreement emissions reduction target.

In addition to EVs and other qualifying vehicles, the discount applies to purchases of battery energy storage and rooftop solar systems and building upgrades for energy efficiency that include energy efficient lighting and air conditioning.

In a related step, the government said last month it would earmark $10 million through the CEFC to support Australian companies that would manage their business operations with a new IoT network dedicated to reducing energy consumption.

Doug Peeples is a writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartcitiesanz on Twitter.