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EV incentives spark driving revolution

Electric vehicle use is on the rise and so are the incentives to get behind the wheel of a plug-in car. Find out what’s happening on the Brisbane EV scene.

You may have noticed them pulling up alongside you at the traffic lights…

Electric vehicles (EV) were once a rare sighting. It’s now becoming more common to see them on your travels each day. There may even be models cruising past which you don’t realise are electric. 

As recently reported by the ABC, EV sales have reached record highs in Australia. According to recent data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, electric vehicles made up 4.4% of the market in August, with sought-after manufacturer Tesla selling 3,397 cars. Overall, EVs account for about 10% of car sales in Australia so far in 2022.

If you’re thinking of making the switch, there are a few things to know.

Electric vehicles are becoming less of a luxury in Australia

In countries like Norway, electric cars are cheaper than ‘regular’ cars. Last year, more than 85% of new-car purchases in the country were ‘plug-ins’, mostly because of the tax breaks.

Right now in Australia, there is talk of EVs being exempt from things like Fringe Benefit Taxes and import taxes. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles have a registration duty rate of 2% (compared to 4-cylinder vehicles which have a registration duty rate of 3%). There are also some special incentives for Qld EV buyers (more on this shortly). 

As Australia works towards a lower emissions target, we can probably expect more Europe-style incentives to encourage us to switch our fleets and private vehicles to electric models. 

When people think EV, they tend to think Tesla but there are plenty of other brands set to release plug-in cars of their own. Mercedes, for one, is introducing a range of EV models, from the all-electric EQA to the family-appropriate EQB and the sleek EQS model. 

Where will your ‘plug-in’ plug in?

When you buy electric, you get a fantastic looking vehicle and the peace of mind about reducing the impact your travels have on the environment. 

However, a shift in habits is required. Filling a car with petrol takes a few seconds. Charging a car takes a lot longer. You will have to come up with a new routine in order to ensure you don’t wind up with a flat battery. 

Before you go electric, check out where the EV charging stations in your area are. This Google map of Brisbane charging stations will help. Hopefully there is an option near to where you work so you can fit charging your car into your routine. 

There are also providers who will come to your house and install an electric vehicle charger. Before you buy an EV, you’ll need to make sure the power capabilities in your house can handle this type of charger. 

If you own a commercial property, you may also want to start thinking about adding an EV charging spot so you, your team and even potentially your clients can add some ‘juice’ during the day. 

In terms of cost, the Qld government recently shared that using an EV equates to paying around 50 cents per litre for petrol. There is nowhere in Australia where you would pay this price for fuel… so you can use this figure to determine how long it will take to offset the purchase of an EV. 

The other good news is you will soon be able to hit the open road. The Queensland Electric Super Highway currently has 31 EV charging sites already in place up the east coast, with more to be added. 

The future of EVs in Brisbane

Queensland collectively only owns around 10,000 electric cars (as shared by the Brisbane Times). 

To encourage more uptake, the state has budgeted $45 million for an EV rebate scheme, which opened in July for battery electric vehicles sold on or after May 16 for less than $58,000. Under the scheme, EV buyers can claim $3,000 when they purchase an eligible vehicle. 

The state of Qld has the following goals:

  • 50% of new passenger vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2030, moving to 100% by 2036
  • 100% of eligible Qld Government fleet passenger vehicles to be zero emission by 2026
  • every new TransLink funded bus added to the fleet to be a zero emission bus from 2025 in South East Qld and from 2025-2030 across regional Qld.

With that in mind, investing in an EV charging station in your home could be a worthwhile idea.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Matt Lancashire