Electric vehicles will become cheaper in Australia after cross-strike agreement with Labor Party

Electric cars are set to become cheaper and government fleets will go green after crossbench members reached an agreement to pass a labor bill and phase out public support for gasoline-powered plug-in vehicles.

The Greens and independent David Pocock hail a victory in the Senate as they agreed to back government efforts to make electric vehicles cheaper and more available on second-hand markets.

“These changes are a win for motorists, a win for business and a win for climate action,” said Treasurer Jim Chalmers.

The Treasury Laws (Electric Car Rebate) Amendment Bill 2022 was due to pass the Senate this week, after the government won support from MPs. The government’s original plan was to reduce the benefits tax on low-emission vehicles to encourage fleet owners and employers to replace gasoline-powered vehicles with greener alternatives.

Chalmers and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said in July that the changes could reduce the price of some electric vehicles by up to $9,000 for businesses, or $4,700 for individuals who buy a car by sacrificing their salary . The savings would be backdated to July and apply to cars retailed below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel-efficient cars of $84,916.

The tax cuts would apply to battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. However, progressive crossbenchers had raised concerns about the benefits being extended to plug-in hybrid vehicles with gasoline engines.

Amendments on behalf of the Greens and Pocock jointly were due to be tabled in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

The changes would see support for gas-powered plug-in hybrids phased out on April 1, 2025. Bandt also said it would prioritize zero-emission electric vehicles in government fleet purchasing policy, phasing out hybrid vehicles rechargeable, except in exceptional cases. terms.

“The Greens have accelerated electric vehicles,” Bandt said.

“The government fleet will switch to electric, and when these cars are sold used, it will help reduce the cost of electric vehicles for ordinary people.”

He said it showed the government could be pushed to go “further and faster on the climate”.

Pocock, who also proposed the sunset clause to the government, said taxpayers should not subsidize gas-powered cars.

“I welcome the government’s constructive approach of meeting me in the middle and excluding plug-in hybrids after April 1, 2025. This certainly provides fleet companies and allows the government to deliver on its promises regarding the provision of charging infrastructure over the next three years,” he said. said.

“The opportunity is to expand access to the clean and efficient technology of the future.”

Pocock said the incentives would directly benefit “mainly wealthier Australians”, but noted that expanding the use of fleet vehicles would drive the market for used electric vehicles in coming years.

“More Australians should enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle, including much lower fuel costs, lower maintenance costs and a better driving experience,” he said.

“Bold and decisive action is needed to address high electric vehicle prices, lack of supply and insufficient charging infrastructure.”

It is understood that the Australian Tax Office will also provide guidance clarifying where charging infrastructure could also be exempt from employee benefits tax. The amendments also call on the government to undertake reviews of the legislation after its implementation, including the reassessment of the types of vehicles that should be covered by the FBT rebate provisions.

Chalmers said the government had worked “in good faith with the crossbench”.

Shortly after the deal was announced, Greenpeace said Parliament should go further in tackling car emissions by legislating tougher fuel efficiency standards.

“As the world surges in the adoption of electric vehicles, in Australia this year only 3.39% of new vehicle sales were fully electric,” said Lindsay Soutar, campaign manager for Greenpeace.

“Strict energy efficiency standards will keep us on the fast track to cheaper and more accessible electric vehicles for Australians, while tackling climate pollution and cost of living pressures.”

with the AAP

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