South Australia’s $3,000 electric vehicle subsidy has officially kicked off, opening to applications on the same day as the state government announced a brand new EV-related incentive to encourage the installation of smart home charging systems.
The Liberal Marshall government on Tuesday opened applications for up to 7,000 buyers to get a discount on the price of new electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles priced at $68,750 and under, including cars bought since October 28, 2021, when the rebate passed through state parliament.
That same bill also removed electric vehicle registration costs for the first three years after purchase, and delayed the state’s proposed EV road user tax to mid-2027, or when all-electric cars account for 30% of new sales.
The South Australian electric vehicle subsidy scheme forms part of the government’s now $53.25 million Electric Vehicle Action Plan – first announced as part of the State Budget for 2020-21.
It follows an almost identical model to that being rolled out in New South Wales, and differs from Victoria’s in that the price cap for a rebate is a tiny bit lower, at $67,000, and Victoria has already imposed its EV road user tax.
In South Australia, new EV owners will eventually be required to pay 2.5 cents per kilometre driven by fully electric vehicles and 2 cents/km for plug-in hybrids.
But the state is hoping the 7,000 $3,000 discounts, waived registration costs and – as of this week – discounted cost of installing a smart EV charging system, will be enough to drive uptake in the few years before a road user tax is deployed.
South Australia treasurer Rob Lucas said the important reforms had the backing of key industry groups, including the RAA.
“This is a green light for South Australians who may have been considering purchasing a new electric vehicle, to take advantage of the generous incentive now on the table,” he said on Tuesday.
“We’ve consulted widely with industry, manufacturers and other interest groups who have supported our critical reforms to help drive the take-up of environmentally friendly zero and low-emission vehicles in South Australia.”
The newly announced $12.25 million EV charging rebate offers 7,500 subsidies of up to $2,000 each and is eligible to households with either new or existing plug-in EVs who invest in smart charging systems that monitor and respond to household and network events – just as solar invterers in the state are now required to do.
The EV charger subsidy recognises that electric vehicles are, essentially, mobile battery energy storage systems, which – with the right controls – can help support the South Australian grid’s world famous abundance wind and solar power.
It also factors in forecasts that these batteries on wheels will grow from a couple of thousand on South Australian roads, today, to tens of thousands within a just four years, so keeping some measure of control over their patterns of energy use will be crucial to the smooth running of the grid.
“Under the scheme, existing and new electric vehicle households will be able to access up to $2,000 to install an EV charger that aligns charging to times when household and state-wide electricity demand is low, making for an even more stable and affordable electricity grid,” said energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan in a statement announcing the new rebate on Tuesday.
“A stable grid with an abundance of renewable energy from wind and solar, coupled with further capacity to store energy in the form of electric vehicles is projected to reduce power prices to benefit the whole community.
“Independent modelling projects cost savings for all households of $95 to $324 in 2030 if EV uptake is accelerated and smart charging is embraced by electric vehicle owners.
“Encouraging the use of smart EV chargers at home is another step on South Australia’s journey to net 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and to be net carbon neutral by 2050,” the minister said.
“We have our sights set firmly on becoming a national leader in electric vehicle uptake and smart charging by 2025.”
The smart EV charging subsidies will be available until the fund allocation is exhausted or for the next four years, whichever comes first.
Applications to the EV rebate can be made through the South Australian government’s Treasury website.