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EV Discount Bill Passes With Anti-PHEV Amendments

The Albanese Labor Government has won the support of the Australian Green Party for its electric vehicle (EV) incentive bill, although not without some amendments.

The Green Party and Government have agreed to the following amendments to the Treasury Law Amendment Bill (Electric Vehicle Discounts):

  • Stop supporting plug-in hybrid on April 1, 2025
  • Prioritizing electric vehicles in the Australian Government’s fleet procurement policy by phasing out plug-in hybrids except in ‘extraordinary circumstances’

With the amendments sought by the Greens secured, the party’s senators will support the EV bill passed in the Senate this week.

The Green Party also said the ATO would issue guidance on when household charging technology could be included in tax-exempt vehicle packages.

Adam Bandt, leader of the Greens, said: “The Green Party has a very fast tram.

“The government fleet of vehicles will run on electricity and when these cars are sold used, it will help reduce the cost of electric vehicles for everyday people.

“By limiting funding for petrol cars and accelerating support for electric cars, the Green Party in the balance of power has pushed the government to go further and faster on climate.

“This shows the power of the Green Party in pushing Labor further and faster with fossil fuels.”

Instead of focusing on direct discounts like many Australian states doThe bill revolves around reducing taxes to lower prices and promote consumption.

This legislation exempts low-emissions autos from the side benefit tax (FBT), potentially saving thousands of employers and private vehicle drivers.

This ongoing FBT waiver proposal was originally set to apply to battery-powered vehicles (BEVs), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and will be reviewed. after three years.

To be eligible, a low-emission vehicle must have a first retail price below the current relevant luxury car tax threshold of $84,916 (for 2022‑23) and be offered for use for the first time. applied on or after July 1 of this year – meaning the law will be obsolete.

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The Labor Government claims that an employer offering about $50,000 in EVs to an employee as a side benefit can save up to $9000 a year.

It also claims that individuals using a pay-to-pay for the same model can save up to $4700 a year.

In addition to this bill, the incumbent Labor Government also intends to eliminate the existing 5.0% import tax on qualifying electric vehicles that are not yet subject to a free trade agreement – ​​meaning vehicles supplied from Europe.

The government said: “The transport sector is one of the fastest growing sources of emissions in Australia, and stronger use of electric vehicles could make a significant impact in efforts to tackle climate change. our climate change”.

“It is important – as families grapple with rising fuel costs – that encouraging more affordable electric vehicles to enter the market is an important step in addressing transportation costs. medium-term load and build resilience to global oil prices.

“However, currently, Australia lags far behind other countries in the world in terms of electric vehicle use. This law will encourage greater use of electric cars and contribute to reducing traffic emissions.”

For all this, the Australian Government has not announced any plans for federal emissions standards despite calls from industry. to do that, to free up the supply. That prompted the Federal Automobile Industry Chamber to establish a voluntary replacement program.

The Electric Vehicle Council has praised the new incentives, although it wants to do more.

Electric Vehicle Council Australia chief executive Behyad Jafari said: “We have particularly found that the FBT exemption is a pretty valuable incentive to specifically encourage more fleets and new leases to be transferred. to use electricity.

“I think it’s had a pretty big impact on the sector, of course it still leaves us with the constant challenge of getting more vehicles and I think that’s the next big challenge we’re working on. discussion with the current government.

“It’s natural and in line with the promises they’ve made to come up with a very strong fuel efficiency standard that matches zero by 2050. That means there’s a standard in line with that. the kind of standards we see in the US and the EU.”

that echo Reviews from companies like Volkswagen said it was having difficulty delivering electric vehicles to Australia due to a lack of federal emissions standards, which could penalize companies that don’t sell enough low- or zero-emissions vehicles, pushing us down the list. Priority is given to vehicles.

The opposition Labor Party (then) announced last year a National electric vehicle strategyincluding tariffs and tax exemptions plus investment in charging infrastructure and a goal of “environmentally putting 3.8 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030”.

The recently elected Albanese Labor Government intends to deliver on not only the electoral promises of tariffs and exemptions, but also other promises of electric vehicles.

That includes the implementation of $500 million National Acceleration Planwith an EV fast charger every 150 km on Australia’s motorway network.

A refueling network on the Hydro Highway is also planned to provide hydrogen refueling stations along Australia’s busiest freight routes to support hydrogen fuel cell trucks. .

The Government also intends to gradually transition the Commonwealth’s fleet to zero-emissions vehicles with a target of 75% of new passenger vehicle rentals and purchases by 2025.

Last year, the Labor opposition also announced plans to roll out battery charging infrastructure in more than 100,000 businesses and 3.8 million homes, with 1800 new public fast charging stations by an unspecified date. .

BEV sales are now up to accounts for only 2.0% of the Australian new car market, miles behind most developed areas. PHEV absorption is even lower.

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THAN: What electric car buyer incentives are on offer across Australia?

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