The Electric Vehicle Council says Labor’s promises for tax exemptions for electric vehicles could be just what the EV industry needs.

Australia has lagged behind electric vehicles for many years, even as they accelerate globally. In 2020, EV sales grew 38 per cent even as total car sales fell by a fifth and in 2021, 5 million are expected to be sold.

That represents 7 per cent of all car sales worldwide.

Meanwhile, only 0.6 per cent of total car sales in Australia are EVs – something the EV Council has blamed on a lack of action by state and federal governments.

The federal opposition has proposed to exempt electric vehicles below the luxury car tax threshold ($77,565 in 2021-21) from import tariffs and fringe benefits tax.

The former is a five per cent tax on imported cars while the latter can be up to 47 per cent.

It has also promised to develop Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy which would consider further measures to encourage electric car sales, infrastructure and potentially manufacturing.

But unlike last election, Labor has not yet set a electric vehicle target which was 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030.


Policy would help make EVs more affordable

The affordability of electric vehicles has been blamed as one of the key reasons for low take up in Australia.

But the EV Council’s CEO Behyad Jafari says this proposal by Labor could be just what Australia needs for electric vehicles to take off.

Speaking with Stockhead after this morning’s announcement he said it was important to use strategies that have worked in other jurisdictions.

“A target doesn’t achieve anything on its own. This is doing what works, looking at the taxes when you apply for an electric vehicle,” he said.

“It says to the car market, bring your more affordable electric vehicles to the market – we’re going to support them.

“You get more electric vehicles bought here, more customers buying them more companies investing in infrastructure.

“This is proven to be the big crucial policy that helps the market.”