Labor has promised to make electric vehicles cheaper by dropping tariffs and taxes on many models if it wins at the next election.
On Wednesday, the Australian Labor Party announced its electric vehicles policy at their national conference, as the party lays out its agenda in the lead-up to what most assume will be a federal election.
The policy will apply from July 2022 to all non-luxury electric vehicles — meaning cars that are worth less than $72,565. According to the ABC, Australians would save $2,000 on a $50,000 vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, and up $9,000 if they bought it through a company work arrangement.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese spruiked the change on Wednesday, saying the federal opposition wants to encourage electric vehicle take-up.
“We’re not making people buy a particular vehicle. What we’re doing, though, is putting practical measures in place that will drive change,” he said.
“The biggest way that you can change behaviour is by changing the fleet make-up.”
At the last election, former Labor leader Bill Shorten promised to enact policies that would mean that half of all new cars sold in Australia would be electric by 2030 if he was elected.
Currently, electric vehicles remain quite expensive in Australia and governments aren’t making it cheaper. The Victorian Government is currently considering taxing electric vehicle drivers for every kilometre they drive.
As of 2020, electric vehicle make up just 0.2 per cent of vehicles in Australia.
Another part of the policy is creating 400 “community batteries” to be installed in suburbs and towns around Australia. Noting that solar uptake has picked up in Australia but far fewer residents own batteries, community batteries would connect to houses in the community and act as communal power storage.
Despite the Coalition’s ultimately successful attack on the party’s electric vehicles last election, Labor seems determined to make it a major part of their pitch for why they should be elected this time.