Tax Breaks, Access to Bus Lanes Needed to Get Australians to Buy Electric Cars

Electric cars accounted for just 0.1% of the new car sales in Australia in 2015. It’s a paltry figure compared to Europe, in which electric cars got 1.2% of new European Union car sales in the same year. It’s clear that Australians are still not convinced to go for electric cars. Australia Institute says that tax breaks and free access to bus lanes may be needed to encourage Australians to buy electric vehicles.

In their recent report, The Australia Institute said that the country is running the risk of becoming so behind on electric cars by international standards. The country offers minimal incentives for buyers and there is none or little proper battery charging infrastructure as well.

“Electric vehicles promise benefits to both consumers and governments. Nonetheless, the market for electric vehicles remains underdeveloped and progress has been slow,” the report said.

“Australia’s electric vehicle market is, by international standards, a laggard. This is in no small part due to a lack of public investment in establishing the conditions necessary for growth.”

The report recommends exempting electric cars from the luxury car tax, which is currently applicable to Tesla Model S and other more expensive types of electric cars. It also recommends tax breaks in order to establish a “visible, densely distributed network” of charging stations.

“The development of this network requires careful management. Left unregulated, there is a risk that competing technology standards cannibalise the EV market,” the report said.

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