CANBERRA, AAP – Businesses could receive federal government support to upgrade their company cars to electric vehicles and hybrids.

The measure is included in the federal government’s future fuels strategy discussion paper, released on Friday.

The paper identifies five priority areas including adequate electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling stations.

Another is helping commercial fleets invest in such cars, given 40 per cent of light vehicles were bought by businesses last year.

The government believes helping firms to buy electric and hybrid vehicles will result in them being sold second-hand, reducing the cost and increasing uptake.


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“The government will support businesses with commercial fleets to undertake charging installation projects, including electrical upgrades, such as for three-phase power,” the paper says.

“For example, the Future Fuels Fund could help businesses make electrical upgrades and install battery chargers at a depot for battery electric delivery trucks, where installation costs might be a barrier to battery electric vehicle uptake.”

The strategy looks at traditional fuel, hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, electric and bio-fuelled vehicles.

Sales of hybrid vehicles doubled last year, and Energy Minister Angus Taylor says he expects the cost will quickly fall compared to traditional cars.

But subsidies have been ruled out.

“Importantly, this discussion paper shows that closing this gap through subsides for new technology vehicles is not value-for-money for taxpayers and is an expensive form of abatement,” he said.

The paper is open to feedback until April 2.

Its release comes as an online rally is planned against Victoria and NSW for planning to introduce a new tax on electric vehicles to make up for the impending reduction in fuel excise.