The NSW government says it will honour its promise to provide rebates and stamp duty concessions for electric vehicle purchases from September 1, despite delays to the passage of legislation because of state-wide lockdowns.
The NSW government announced in June that it would offer rebates of $3,000 to buyers of electric vehicles with a sale price below $68,750, as well as a waiver of stamp duty fees for electric vehicles priced under $78,000.
The scheme was set to commence on September 1, but due to the latest outbreak of Covid-19 triggering state-wide lock downs, the NSW state parliament has been prevented from sitting and passing the necessary legislation.
On Wednesday, the NSW government assured prospective buyers that the concessions would still apply for any electric vehicle purchases from September 1, should legislation ultimately pass parliament that allows the start of the scheme to be backdated.
“The NSW Government remains fully committed to the Electric Vehicle Strategy and delivering on what we promised for this emerging industry,” NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.
“We will keep to our September 1 go-live date, however, it is important both the industry and those considering purchasing an EV understand the availability of incentives is contingent on the Electric Vehicles (Revenue Arrangements) Bill 2021 passing Parliament.”
“It’s incumbent upon all political parties to get behind this Bill and this industry,” Perrottet added.
Should legislation eventually pass the NSW state parliament, the rebates and stamp duty waivers will be backdated and buyers of electric vehicles from 1 September will be refunded based on their entitlement under the scheme.
It will mean that New South Wales electric vehicle buyers will need to pay the full price for their vehicle and the normal level of stamp duty, and then apply for the rebates and waivers once the state parliament has been able to reconvene and pass relevant legislation.
The incentives formed part of a $490 million support package for electric vehicles included in the most recent NSW state budget, alongside funding for the roll out of new electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the transition of the government’s own vehicle fleet to electric models by 2030.
NSW transport minister Andrew Constance said that he hopes the new scheme will help bring new electric vehicle models to into the local market.
“Electric vehicles are the way of the future and that’s why we need to reduce the barriers and create the right market conditions to ensure we are not left at the back of the starting grid,” Constance said.
“This package not only reduces the costs of purchasing an electric vehicle, but also boosts competition and signals to the market NSW is ready for a greater number of new models.”
The increased adoption of electric vehicles in New South Wales has formed part of the state government’s strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The NSW energy and environment minister, Matt Kean, added that ensuring the incentives would apply retrospectively would help avoid delays in the grow of the state’s electric vehicle sector.
“Our aim remains to increase EV sales to more than 50 per cent of new cars sold in NSW by 2030 and for EVs to be the vast majority of new cars sold in the State by 2035,” Kean said.
“For that reason, we have applied retrospectivity to our policy, to ensure the market is not held up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.