‘Rev-olutionary’ plans unveiled in NSW to increase electric vehicle uptake

Bold new plans to incentivise electric vehicles (EVs) have been announced by the New South Wales government as part of a state-wide $490 million package, which includes rebates and tax cuts as well as investment in EV charging infrastructure.

Unveiled in the newly released NSW Budget, these reforms are designed to accelerate electric vehicle ownership, gaining praise from environmental policy groups, industry bodies and energy retailers alike.

The four-year package under the Berejiklian Government will not only waive stamp duty on new eligible EV purchases under $78,000, but will also provide rebates of up to $3,000 for 25,000 new EV buyers.

These reforms include a range of measures to make electric cars more affordable for consumers, while adhering to the NSW government’s commitment to transitioning its entire fleet to all-electric models by 2030 – all to a tune of $33 million.

But it’s not all good news for electric vehicles, with a proposed ‘EV road user charge’ set to be introduced when EVs account for 30 per cent of new vehicle purchases, which is expected to occur in 2027. From 2027 EV users will be charged 2.5 cents per kilometre to help cover the government’s loss of GST on fuel purchases.

This budget package was all about removing the monetary barriers many new-to-market consumers would have when buying an EV, as well as financing the ‘rev-olution’, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a statement.

“Our comprehensive strategy is about making sure we have the right mix in place to incentivise the take-up of electric vehicles while ensuring everyone who drives on our roads contributes to funding and maintaining them,” he said. “Our strategy also commences long-term major tax reform. Today we begin the process of permanently phasing out stamp duty on electric vehicles and a deferred transition to a fair and sustainable per-kilometre road user charge for electric vehicles.”

It comes after a controversial EV road tax in Victoria, which will roll out from July 1, was expecting to cost motorists an extra $330 a year on average.

AGL EV Plans

Here is AGL’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here is AGL’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here is AGL’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here is AGL’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Are we at a turning point for electric vehicles in Australia?

Mark Avery Bell Resources

For a deeper understanding of the changes to electric vehicles heading to NSW, Canstar Blue spoke to Mark Avery, CEO of Australian start-up Bell Resources, a company specialising in electric vehicle infrastructure and charging technology. Mr Avery shared his thoughts on the ins and outs of these landmark EV reforms, and explained why he believed Australia was at a real turning point for EV adoption.

What are your thoughts on the proposal to waive stamp duty for eligible EVs under $78,000?

“While affordability is an important factor for EV uptake, this stamp duty waiver could act as a catalyst for driving the policy forward across the whole of Australia to help put more electric vehicles on our roads. With New South Wales being the largest state in Australia by population leading the charge with these reforms, it’s only a matter of time before we see other states follow suit.

“The significance for everyday Australians is more than just a recognition of the pain points around price, it’s recognising that the NSW government is listening to them and that this is an area that is rapidly evolving as access to owning an electric vehicle just became so much easier.”

What has the NSW Government’s Budget overlooked?

“It’s pleasing to see the proposed $33 million investment in government fleet procurement over the next four years but one area the budget has overlooked is ways in which we can make EV fleets more accessible for business fleet operators.

“One real growth opportunity is expanding the rebate program to include business fleets – from medium-sized to heavy trucks, as well as buses and freight transportation. As Australia transitions to a low-emissions future, business owners can be incentivised to play a critical role in driving the transition, reducing the noise pollution and leaving a sustainable footprint for generations to come.”

Introduction of a per-kilometre usage charge

“We welcome the NSW government’s appetite for EV policy incentives, including tax reform to ensure an equitable playing field for all road users. However, before you can effectively apply a tax or levy, you need to have an agreed standard of measurement in what you apply. A national framework across all states needs to be revisited.

“A ‘per-kilowatt’ or ‘per-minute’ charge instead of a ‘per-kilometre’ charge would be fairer for consumers, particularly for electric cars at the entry end of the market that require less energy to run. The per-kilowatt charge is what we are already used to with fuel, so it makes a lot of sense for us to adopt it as the standard.”

Rebates for the first 25,000 EV buyers

“With the NSW Government stepping forward today with a bold EV policy reform and infrastructure building agenda, we are at a critical inflection point for local EV adoption, one that could drive a revolution for the transportation sector not just in NSW but in Australia as a whole.

“Rebates will be an excellent way to supercharge adoptions and we’ve seen the success of this approach in residential solar, with Australia now having the highest uptake rooftop solar in the world after a combination of state government rebates and federal government incentive schemes.

“But rebates are only the starting point. Like any consumer product, accelerating adoption is driven by both growing market maturity and reductions in price as more consumers get on board. While government incentives can have their strongest impact in the short term over the next three to five years, I believe eventually market conditions will prevail and we’ll start seeing more and more Australians get behind the wheel of an EV.”

Red Energy EV Plans

Here is Red Energy’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here is Red Energy’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here is Red Energy’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here is Red Energy’s Electric Vehicle Plan on our database that includes a link to the retailer’s website for further details. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000 kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Origin Energy warns charging EVs at home could overload the grid

While the reforms in NSW are moving in the right direction, Australian power juggernaut Origin Energy stated that more needed to be done to ensure electricity grids could handle the increase in demand as a result of EV owners charging their cars at home. The warning came after a trial conducted by Origin analysed EV owners’ charging habits across the country.

The Australian-first trial found that more than 60 per cent of participants were plugging their EVs into a standard wall socket in their garage at night when power demand is usually at its peak, Origin Energy’s head of e-mobility, Chau Le, said.

“Without incentives and regulatory policies that encourage smart charging, that’s what’s going to happen when mass-market adoption takes off –  you’re going to have all these EVs that are being charged that cannot be enrolled onto smart-charging programs or cannot be managed,” Ms Le said.

Smart charging technology could be the solution to these woes according, to the energy retailer, as smart chargers are able to charge EVs when the grid is in less demand, spacing out usage and mitigating the risk of power outages and wholesale price spikes.

“We do expect that this will cause constraints on the network and the wholesale market if it’s not managed properly,” Ms Le added.

Origin’s EV smart charging trial commenced in August 2020 in partnership with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which helped fund the endeavour. Participants in the trial had smart chargers installed and connected to Origin’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) platform, which allowed charging to take place remotely at times when wholesale prices were low and there was less demand on the grid.

Image credits: Herr Loeffler/Shutterstock.com, Blue Chip Communication

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