NSW trumps Queensland on EV policy

Australia’s peak electric vehicle advocacy body says Queensland’s EV policy is lagging behind its southern neighbours.
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Australia’s peak electric vehicle advocacy body says Queensland’s EV policy is lagging behind its southern neighbours.  

It’s not enough that New South Wales won the rugby league State of Origin series earlier this year, but now the Electric Vehicle Council has ranked the southerners ahead of us in its annual State of Electric Vehicles report.

Queensland scored a solid six out of 10 on the council’s EV Policy Scorecard, equal with South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia, but behind the Northern Territory and Tasmania (seven), the ACT (eight), and front-runner New South Wales which topped the class on nine. 

The EV Council described the NSW Government’s position as “Australia’s best electric vehicle policy to date”.

The report praised New South Wales for its introduction of a “whole-of-government electric vehicle strategy, backed by $500 million in funded actions”, designed to accelerate the uptake of zero-emissions vehicles. 

The removal of stamp duty and $3000 rebates for electric vehicles under a price cap, $171 million for co-funding infrastructure, and 100% bus and government fleet targets, were cited as “real, meaningful actions that give confidence to consumers and industry, spurring greater investment and outcomes for the state”. 

The report said these initiatives were matched by a commitment to delay road user charges until the market had matured, either by 2027 or until electric vehicles accounted for 30% of sales, ultimately replacing upfront stamp duty charges.

“The NSW Government incentive program is significant and comparable with leading jurisdictions overseas, and we are optimistic about the effect it will have on electric vehicle availability and sales,” the council’s CEO Behyad Jafari said.  

When it came to scoring Queensland, the report said the Sunshine State had leveraged its early leadership in electric vehicle infrastructure by continuing to expand its Electric Vehicle Super-Highway. 

“The state is currently consulting to update its electric vehicle strategy, having been the first state in Australia to develop one in 2017,” the report said.

“To increase its grade, Queensland should increase the scope of its electric vehicle strategy to include financial incentives for the purchase of EVs in line with other states."

On 17 June, the State Government announced the development of a new Queensland Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Strategy.

The new ZEV Strategy will supersede The Future is Electric, Queensland's first electric vehicle strategy, a government statement said.

A three-week public online survey and written submission process was used to help shape the strategy, along with input from local government and industry workshops, with the State Government now considering all stakeholder feedback.

Despite this, Queensland still comfortably outperformed the Federal Government, which scored three out of 10, ranking it lower than all states and territories for the second year in a row. 

“There remains a lack of leadership at a federal level and the Federal Government has failed to deliver on its promise of a national electric vehicle strategy,” the report said.   

Policy action by governments is cited as an important factor in providing confidence to investors, industry, and consumers to support the transition towards e-mobility. 

The report listed the primary policy drivers to accelerate EV uptake as: financial incentives to reduce the price of purchasing an electric vehicle, regulatory changes, and investment in charging infrastructure.

“The delay of a national electric vehicle policy has caused investment and uptake in Australian to lag comparable markets,” the report said.

“In recent years, state governments have been stepping in to fill this policy vacuum, sometimes with mixed results.”

Despite its own statistics revealing an increase in electric vehicle sales, improvements in consumer sentiment, and the rollout of more public charging infrastructure over the past 12 months, the Electric Vehicle Council said Australia continued to lag behind comparable countries when it came to electric vehicle market share, model availability, consumer awareness, industry development and government support.

“Australia still has serious challenges when it comes to electric vehicle market share, policies, and consumer choice,” Mr Jafari said.  

“We need to see more electric vehicle models in Australia, particularly at lower price points. 

“To get more models, we need the right policy settings so we can compete with other countries to attract the globally limited electric vehicle supply to Australia.”

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