SYDNEY, AAP – Ride share companies and other car fleet operators will get the extra cost of buying electric cars covered by the NSW government, in an attempt to build a market for the more environmentally-friendly product.
“We’re going to turbocharge the transition to electric vehicles here in NSW,” said Treasurer and Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean on Wednesday.
“We’ve got the biggest and boldest electric policy in the country.”
The $105 million package comes the day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his support for a transition to electric cars with a $178 million infrastructure spend.
“It’s great that the federal government is getting on board the electric vehicle revolution but they can obviously do a lot more,” Mr Kean said.
“This is a revolution that is coming whether (Deputy Prime Minister) Barnaby Joyce likes it or not.
“The reality is that the right-hand car market is changing to electric. The last thing we want is for Australia to become a dumping ground for the vehicles that the rest of the world doesn’t want.”
NSW would work with the federal government to make sure everyone in NSW could access the “best technology” that will help them save money, Mr Kean said.
Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari on Wednesday said the federal government had “no plan to actually back that up”, whereas NSW has a plan.
“(It’s a) great deal for Australians businesses to be able to get on board … and start their move from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles,” Mr Jafari said.
“In three to five years’ time, those businesses will be selling those vehicles and Australians who can’t afford a new car will have a flood of second-hand electric vehicle options to choose from. – cars that run at a fraction of the price of their petrol and diesel alternatives.”
Uber’s general manager of rides, Dominic Taylor, said the announcement was a clear incentive for rental companies servicing the rideshare markets to buy electric vehicles.
“Next time you order an Uber I hope that it’s an electric car turning up to pick you up,” Mr Taylor said.
Mr Kean said half of new car sales in NSW were driven by fleet operators, who tended to replace their cars every three to four years.
Thew new incentives will be open to businesses that buy more than 10 vehicles at a time from November 30. They’ll be delivered through a reverse action process.
The state government has previously announced a $490 million program to drive uptake of electric vehicles, including stamp duty exemptions and rebates.
The strategy includes waiving stamp duty for electric cars priced under $78,000 purchased after September.
That policy was delayed as COVID-19 lockdowns shut politicians out of parliament and prevented them legislating the reform – but will now be applied retroactively.
Electric vehicle drivers can now use transit lanes usually reserved for car-poolers as well.