Great news. However, we have to realise that this comes off a low base. Penetration of the new vehicle market by EVs (BEVs and PHEVS) is estimated to reach 2% in Australia during 2021. It may actually exceed this, as pundits predict that Tesla will ship in 15,000 cars from China and Nexport is bringing in the more affordable BYD.
Many Tesla fans are excited to hear that the Model Y will soon be for sale in Hong Kong’s right-hand-drive (RHD) market. They expect that the car will then soon make its way south to our shores. Australians are in love with their SUVs, and the Y is sure to be a big hit.
With more models to choose from, more affordable models, and now some government incentives — expect the Australian new electric car market to explode in the next couple of years. Several states and territories have begun to introduce financial incentives — $3000 for a new EV in Victoria and New South Wales; interest-free loans in the Australian Capital Territory; discounts on registration or stamp duty.
On the downside, the Victorian State has made the retrograde decision to introduce a road users tax. It is being sold as a way make the “very wealthy” Tesla owners pay their fair share (commence cheering from the poverty-stricken petrol heads). The proposal has had little opposition. However, when we look at petrol at a cost of $1.70 a L and 60% of that is tax, the EV owner is still a long way ahead.
Over the life of a vehicle (let’s say 10 years) travelling the average 15,000 km per year, the road usage tax would be $3750. Not a huge figure. Strangely enough, the EV owner saves more than that on registration (the EV is considered a 4-cylinder car, so the registration cost is half that of a 6-cylinder petrol or diesel car — set at over $1000). That doesn’t even consider the savings on petrol tax and maintenance.
Hopefully consumers will do the maths and not let this relatively small matter deter them from purchasing an electric vehicle.