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$2,000 less for an electric vehicle: Labor’s plan for cleaner cars

·2-min read
Nissan Leaf electric vehicle chraging
Electric vehicles are also cheaper to run, which helps to offset the steep upfront cost. (Source: Getty)

As of July 1, a $50,000 Nissan Leaf could get around $2,000 cheaper under the newly-elected Albanese Government.

In the lead-up to the election, the Labor Party committed to lowering the cost of the low-emissions cars.

Labor will exempt electric cars below the luxury car tax threshold, which was $79,659 in 2021-22, from:

  • Import tariffs: This is a 5 per cent tax on some imported EVs

  • Fringe benefits tax: This 47 per cent tax on EVs is for cars provided through work for private use, and is usually passed on to employees.

Labor hopes these tax settings will encourage car manufacturers to import and supply more affordable electric models in Australia.

Numbers crunched by the Electric Vehicle Council estimated that removing the import tariff would make a $50,000 model around $2,000 cheaper.

For a $50,000 model provided through employment arrangements, Labor’s fringe benefits tax exemption is expected to save employers up to $9,000 a year.

More expensive models will see even bigger savings, according to the party.

The upfront cost of electric cars remains the biggest hurdle for Aussies, with 67 per cent of respondents to a Westpac survey pointing to the high price of electric vehicles as the main reason they were yet to switch.

The EV discounts will begin in July 2022. After three years, the policy will be reviewed in light of electric car take-up at that time.

More charging infrastructure

The lack of charging infrastructure has been identified as another barrier for EV uptake in Australia.

Labor also promised to address this by building a national EV charging network so that motorists would have access to a charger every 150 kilometres they travelled.

The plan will see EVs able to travel across the Nullarbor from Adelaide to Perth, according to the party.

The new Government plans to invest $39.3 million in infrastructure. This funding has been matched by the NRMA, and the project will also involve partnerships with state, territory and local governments, communities, industry and other state motoring clubs.

Labor also planned to double down on the Coalition's $250 million Future Fuels Fund, which is designed to support the rollout of public charging infrastructure.

The Albanese Government will invest $500 million into a new “Driving the Nation Fund”, which will allow it to co-invest in additional EV chargers, as well as hydrogen and biofuels refuelling infrastructure.

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