Australian EV Uptake – Taxes or Incentives

old sign for taxes on cars
Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Australian EV Uptake – Taxes or incentives, the world is transitioning to renewable energy and electric transportation is a cornerstone of that transition.

Steps are being taken globally to assist populations to take the first step to start their transition to a sustainable future. 

Across many countries, there are different approaches to assist people to be able to afford to transition to renewable energy generation like solar panels and battery storage.

Transitioning to an electric vehicle is a much harder proposition as most electric vehicles, especially in Australia, are out of reach for average consumers.  

Oil Companies and governments

In combination with the high price of electric vehicles, Oil companies have for years been the power players in the world due to the demand for oil and petrol for internal combustion engine (I.C.E.) vehicles.

They have grown unfettered for decades growing wealth and not caring for the impact they impose upon the environment and the health of everyday people. 

Governments and the global economy have ridden on the back of these industries. However they have one fatal flaw, they are non renewable resources. Their impact to the environment is disastrous.

So making a step towards new thinking using renewable energy and consumers buying electric vehicles is in complete opposition to the direction that most polluting energy suppliers would want.

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Incentives approach

hand with plant
Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

A large amount of the governments of the world have made large strides to develop policies that help to drive the uptake of electric vehicles.

This incentive-based approach has assisted the transition to sustainable energy and thus helps to reduce the carbon footprint that is causing such devastation to our environment.

The environment is changing and has been for several years. In 2019 Australia had one of the worst bush fire seasons in history. It is concerning that we refer to bush fires as a season now. That should make us pause.

When did we start referring to it as a season? 

It used to be known as Summer. Yet many Politicians deny that the bush fires were caused by any environmental issues. 

Australian view

Australian’s have, for many years, prided themselves on being progressive when utilizing new technology that improves their lives. 

Australia has always been a believer in supporting good science and allowing amazing scientific discovery to be at the heart of the Australian culture. 

But it seems that this belief has been deteriorating for years when it comes to the all-important subject of climate change. 

The great barrier reef one of the most amazing natural wonders has for decades been suffering the effects of the changes to the environment right before our eyes. Yet most politicians don’t agree that it is caused by climate change.

During COVID shutdowns in April of 2020, the world paused, and the environment had a chance to breathe and show what is possible. No pollution in the air, very little temperature change, seeing the beauty of the world without fog, or smog to mask it. 

This is the future that we all want to see become reality.

Step forward

So how can we maintain our lifestyles whilst also helping the environment?

globe at night
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The introduction of Solar power, battery storage, and electric vehicles have been the next best step. The ability for average people to help make a difference to the environment around them whilst not compromising their current standard of living has always been the goal.

Taxes

So, what is South Australia thinking when they decide that a TAX on electric vehicles is the way to go. 

When introducing taxes it is much harder for the average person to help. Buying an electric car in Australia is already an expensive proposition.

Last week, South Australia proposed, as part of their state government budget, a tax for Electric Vehicles. The amount of money that the taxes would provide is just over 1 million dollars.

This tax was mirrored in New South Wales and Victoria. An industry that could open up opportunities to new and fresh modes of transport that have a small environmental impact and do not continue to pollute once purchased seems strange to tax people willing to take that all-important first step. 

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Time to lead

australian parliment
Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

Australian EV UptakeTaxes or incentives. It is time for politicians to start listening to what the people who voted them in want, they need to pull their heads out of the sand, look at the science with fresh eyes and recognize that even with our relatively small population we have a part to play in the restoration of the environment globally. 

Australia is so far behind when it comes to the uptake of electric vehicles and the transition to a sustainable future. This first step is essential for the success of reducing co2 being sent into the environment. Adding a Tax that reduces the enticement for consumers to buy electric vehicles before they have even taken off is madness.  

We need to do more to make the direction we are taking a responsible, smart, and future-looking vision. 

Smarter approach

Australia’s car industry has suffered for decades and now when things are starting to look positive towards creating a new car revolution, governments feel that instead of incentivizing the benefits and getting consumers into EVs sooner they wish to tax them for choosing the environmentally friendly option. 

What would be smarter is to provide incentives that assist consumers to make a better choice. Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the home of the Federal Government has recently introduced incentives for the improved uptake of Electric vehicles.

The incentives include 2 years of free registration of the vehicle, increased distribution of charging infrastructure, and interest-free loans.

These incentives are part of a greater view that electrification is the next step in transportation. 

Future City

future city
Image courtesy of engie.com

I recently wrote about Springfield lakes and their plans to create a future city inclusive of electric vehicles, solar and battery storage. This vision is not as easy to execute if the governments of Australia don’t take a leading role in offering support and incentives to allow consumers to be part of the revolutionary change. 

In many countries’ incentives have allowed the uptake of electric vehicles, solar and battery storage for those that would normally not be able to afford such a change. 

Incentives are a much better way to increase uptake of electric vehicles, grow industries where none where before and have a positive effect on environmental issues. 

Old Thinking

Australian EV UptakeTaxes or incentives. The introduction of a Tax is backward, old thinking, and lacks inspiration and foresight. Surprisingly, South Australia is the state to introduce the tax. They are home to one of the largest battery storage facilities in the world.  This technology provided by Tesla has proved itself to be a money-spinner from the start and a revolution for the power industry in the state. So, it is surprising that the government has not realized the benefits these technologies can have on everyday lives. 

Old thinking that has worked for the last 50 years is slowly dying and the ground on which politicians believe they can build a future is thin as ice.

Electric Vehicle owners and future owners are not the enemy. Most people are happy to pay their rightful amount of Taxes however to isolate EV drivers seems counterintuitive to the need to address climate issues. 

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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