Canberrans can be proud of their record on zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) uptake, as residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are ahead of the electric car adoption curve nationally.
“Over 970 new electric vehicles were bought in the ACT last year, making up 5.87 per cent of all new cars purchased in the ACT in 2021 — more than double the national average,” notes Royce Kurmelovs of the Guardian. “The Tesla Model 3 was the bestselling electric car in Australia, with 12,094 vehicles sold last year – accounting for 58.5% of all EVs sold. It was followed by the MG ZS with 1,388 and the Mitsubishi Outlander with 592.”
Sharp-eyed readers will note that those figures now include a precise count on Teslas. In previous years, Tesla didn’t release a breakdown of sales figures by region, instead releasing only total global sales figures (on that note, Tesla delivered 936,172 electric cars worldwide in 2021).
With growing momentum and the help of generous government incentives, it’s expected that the number of electric car drivers on ACT roads will grow rapidly over the next few years. According to the ACT government website:
“If you’re buying a ZEV for the first time, you won’t have to pay stamp duty.
“If you buy a ZEV, new or used, you’ll get two years’ free ACT vehicle registration.
“Eligible households can access up to $15,000 to buy an EV under the Sustainable Household Scheme zero interest loans.”
As prices of ZEVs continue to fall and the prices of petrol and diesel continue to rise, more and more of the general public are realising that a ZEV is the best economic proposition. Petrol hit $2 a litre this week — equivalent to $9 a gallon. A market in second-hand EVs is starting to appear which will enable another demographic to have access to low cost and environmentally friendly driving.
Bizarrely, some newcomers to the electric car scene trace their interest to a campaign by Senator Zed Seselja (Liberal Party), the minister for international development and the Pacific. He has authored a letter-box campaign targeting the ACT government’s incentives for ZEV uptake, most notably its pre-election promise of free registration for electric vehicle owners. (See campaign ad below.)
One reaction on Facebook went like this: “Yep it’s because of Zed and the Libs bizarre hysterical anti-EV rant that informed me about the great incentives on offer. Thanks Zed (idiot) now I drive a Tesla! Talk about an own-goal. Since Zed went on this rant I’m seeing more and more Zero Emission Vehicles every day in Canberra, they’re everywhere!”
You can see the reactions for yourself, below …
… and, of course, we don’t have to go everywhere by private vehicle. Canberra is a national leader in alternative forms of sustainable transport. You can walk, catch a bus or light rail, ride a bike or electric scooter, or use a mix of public transport and active travel. Canberra is easy to get around. However, the more people we can get to choose an electric car vs. an ICE option, the more all of us can enjoy the city — less pollution, less noise, more fun!
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