The Western Australian government has today announced it will provide up to 10,000 rebates worth $3,500 to residents buying a new electric vehicle (EV) or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) up to a value of $70,000.
The rebate will come into effect from today and is part of a larger Clean Energy Car Fund which will also provide another $22.6 million to increase EV charging infrastructure as well as $31 million for additional climate action research and planning.
Somewhat mischievously, the announcement also included the news that the WA government will introduce a distance-based road user charge for zero and low emission light vehicles from July 1, 2027.
This charge, it says, will “ensure all motorists pay their fair share towards the maintenance and construction of WA roads.”
The charge for electric and hydrogen vehicles will have a base rate of 2.5 cents per kilometre and two cents per kilometre for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, both of which will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index.
The McGowan government said it plans to invest $200,000 to develop options on systems for monitoring and collecting the future road user charge.
Coming back to the EV rebates, the government forecasts the average Western Australian driver will save more than $1,400 per year on fuel costs by making the switch – though it isn’t clear which volatile fuel price was used as the base input for this modelling, though likely not the most recent numbers.
Moreover, the government says the 10,000 low emissions cars it hopes the policy will bring onto the road will reduce carbon emissions by “at least” 7,000 tonnes each year.
In terms of EV charging points, it is investing a further $22.6 million from the 2022-23 Budget for new charging infrastructure to expand WA’s network, including:
- $10 million to support not-for-profits and small and medium-sized businesses with grants of up to 50% of the installing charging infrastructure costs;
- $5 million to support local government’s install charging infrastructure by providing grants of up to 50% of the installation cost;
- $4 million for the Public Transport Authority to trial the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at four train stations, providing up to 20 bays per car park with commuter charging access; and
- more than $2.9 million in eight new charging stations across four locations on a section of National Highway 1 between Norseman and Eucla to ensure WA’s electric highway extends to South Australia.
“I’m excited to announce that Western Australia’s electric vehicle highway, which will be the longest in the world, will receive eight extra charging stations,” WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston added. “With stations from Kununurra to Esperance already being delivered, the new stations between Norseman and Eucla will complete the link to South Australia.”
In terms of the often overlooked solution of public transport, the state’s transport minister, Rita Saffioti, said the government will be introducing electric buses onto the network through our current electric bus trial in Joondalup.
“These new incentives, including electric charging infrastructure at train stations, will help encourage more people to use electric vehicles,” she added.
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