Australia is a great place to own an electric vehicle (EV). Not only are electric car owners exempt from paying full stamp duty fees in most states, but there are also a number of other incentives available. In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the current electric vehicle subsidies and incentives offered in Australia on a state-by-state basis. By the end, you'll be able to work out in which state it's the cheapest to own an electric car.
Despite a lack of federal government assistance for EV buyers, the run on electric cars in Australia continues. With the majority of states and territories providing incentives for buyers, Australians are now making the switch to electric vehicles at an all-time high.
In fact, electric car sales in Australia have increased by a whopping 200% in the last 12 months alone! And this isn't even factoring Tesla sales as the Austin-based electric car manufacturer is notoriously tight-lipped about their numbers.
So, what's driving this electric vehicle uptake?
Well, a number of things:
- The continued fall in battery prices (which are now at an all-time low)
- Decreasing range anxiety as electric cars continue to get longer ranges (the Tesla Model S can now travel up to 650km on a single charge!)
- A growing number of electric car charging stations being built across the country
- And, of course, electric car incentives offered by state and territory governments.
If you're thinking about making the switch to an electric car, now is a great time. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, but you'll also save money on running costs and, in some states, you may even be eligible for a discount on your stamp duty.
To help make the decision easier, we've put together a comprehensive guide to electric vehicle incentives offered in each state and territory of Australia.
So, just which state comes out on top when it comes to electric vehicle incentives? Here, we've detailed the state of play across the nation to find out.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT claims to offer the most generous financial incentives for EV purchases and registration. But is this accurate?
The nation's capital has a goal of having 100% of new automobiles sold in the territory to be EVs by 2030. To this end, the ACT government is providing two years free registration as well as exemption from stamp duty for zero-emission cars. Meaning, this plan applies to full battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles only and not PHEVs.
Combined, stamp duty and registration can make up 4 - 5% of the cost of a vehicle. So, it is expected that this move by the ACT will see prices for new eligible electric vehicles continue to fall, and take-up by motorists accelerate.
In addition, the ACT wants to add another 50 public charging stations in the next year, with many more to follow over the following five years.
The ACT government also provides zero-interest loans of up to $15,000 for qualifying households to purchase battery electric vehicles (limited to cars under the luxury car tax threshold of $77,565). If this sounds appealing but you’re after an alternate finance amount, whatever your budget, we can help you find a suitable electric car loan in a few simple steps.
New South Wales
New South Wales, the country's most populous state, is attempting to position itself as Australia's easiest place to buy and use an electric vehicle.
With a goal of increasing EV sales to 52% of new cars sold by 2030, the NSW government has put a raft of incentives in place to drive up consumer demand and drive down the sticker price of electric vehicles.
Strictly speaking, NSW has the edge over the ACT when it comes to the amount on the table incentive-wise. Just like the ACT, new and used EVs ($78,000 or less) are exempt from stamp duty However, NSW residents are also given a $3000 rebate if they are among the first 25,000 to purchase an EV for $68,750 or less. Plus, the NSW government has also committed to spending over $170 million on charging infrastructure throughout the state to keep motorists positive about making the switch to EV cars.
There are also no road user charges for EVs for the next five years (mid-2027), or when EVs represent 30% of sales, plus registration fee discounts on offer.
Queensland is following the lead of several other Australian states in releasing its range of incentives aimed at boosting new electric vehicles purchased across the Sunshine State. As of July 2022 Queensland motorists who purchase a new electric vehicle will qualify for a $3000 subsidy as long as the EV costs less than $58,000, a lot less than in other states. The Queensland government's rebate incentives are slated to run until mid 2025.
This is all part of a plan to have 50% of all new passenger vehicle sales be zero-emission by 2030, with the goal of reaching 100% by 2036.
Whereas other states are waiving stamp duty fees, in Queensland all EVs and fuel efficient vehicles (hybrids) purchased worth up to $100,000 only attract a 2% stamp duty discount. Buyers of luxury EVs and PHEVs (costing more than $100,000) get a 4% discount on stamp duty.
The state government has also built its Electric Vehicle Superhighway, which provides strategically placed high-speed charging stations along the state's east coast between Cairns and Brisbane.
South Australia's electric vehicle incentives are less generous than some other states but are still worth considering if you're an SA resident thinking about making the switch to new battery electric vehicles.
The South Australian government offers no stamp duty discounts and is also introducing a contentious road user fee on EVs in 2027. This will help offset the disappearing fuel excise taxes the government currently claims as more drivers acquire electric vehicles. The road user fee is set with a maximum charge of 2.5c/km for EVs and 2.0c/km for PHEVs, and will cost between $300 and $375 per year if you drive 15,000 kilometres.
To sweeten the deal and get more drivers behind the wheel of an EV, the SA government recently announced a $3,000 rebate for new EVs with a sticker price of less than $68,750. This incentive only applies to the first 7,000 cars bought under the scheme. Plus, South Australian EV drivers can expect free registration for the first 3 years of their car's life.
Owning and using an electric vehicle in the Garden State leaves something to be desired in comparison to other parts of the country.
While Victoria offers a $1000 discount on EV registration, stamp duty is applied to all electric vehicles. Furthermore, the Victorian government has already implemented a road user charge for EV drivers. This is currently sitting at 2.5c/km (2.0c/km for plug-in hybrids).
However, it's not all doom and gloom. Victoria offers a $3000 rebate as incentive for purchasing a new electric vehicle or fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) that costs less than $68,740. The rebate does not apply to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
In other news, the state government is committing itself to expanding an EV charging network to the tune of $19 million.
Probably the best of the worst states when it comes to incentivizing drivers to buy zero emission vehicles, the Tasmanian government does however exempt electric vehicles from stamp duty (with no luxury price limits applied).
However, there is a slight drawback with owning and driving an EV in the Apple Isle. The state government has been slow to roll out electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with only 22 public fast-charging stations currently operational across the island state.
The Tassie government is currently not planning to introduce an EV road user tax, the likes of which are being initiated in other states. However, officials are quick to preface this with the modifier "at this time".
From July 2022, Northern Territorians who purchase a new or used BEV, FCEV, or PHEV car are entitled to a $1500 stamp duty exemption. Plus, the NT government is also giving them free registration for the next five years. This incentive only applies to passenger and light commercial vehicles.
Unlike other Australian states, the Northern Territory has not imposed a road user charge. In July 2021, when it announced its incentives, the government did not commit to implementing a similar road user charge as other states are. State officials, however, say they are considering one.
Like Tasmania, there are a dearth of EV-charging stations in the NT. Which is problematic for drivers of electric vehicles given the huge distances between Northern Territory towns and cities.
WA has only very recently announced its EV incentive plan to drive uptake into the future.
As part of the Clean Energy Car Fund, it will provide up to 10,000 rebates of $3,500 to Western Australians who buy a new electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle up to a value of $70,000 from the start of May.
These rebates are implemented with the aim of getting an extra 10,000 electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on WA roads.
In addition, they’re investing $22.6 million in new EV charging infrastructure to expand WA’s electric vehicle charging network with these stations installed at 160-kilometre intervals across the state.
Which is the cheapest electric car in Australia? And in which state or territory is it cheapest to own and drive?
Currently, the most affordable electric vehicle in Australia is the MG ZS EV, which costs around $46,990. The MG ZS EV is an SUV with a range of up to 263 kilometres before it needs to be recharged.
When it comes to where it's cheapest to own and drive an EV, that all depends on your financial situation. If you are an ACT resident who qualified for the government's $15,000 loan at 0% interest, this could very well save you on paying a good deal of interest over the life of your car loan. Furthermore, the ACT will grant you two years of free registration plus waive the stamp duty.
On the other hand, NSW residents get a $3000 rebate on the purchase price of the car and also don't have to pay stamp duty. Residents in each of these states would find the purchase price of the MG ZS EV quite approachable in comparison to somewhere like WA or the NT.
When it comes to electric vehicle ownership, it seems that the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales are leading the pack. However, with a little bit of searching, electric car drivers can find affordable cars in every state and territory.
At the end of the day, the EV car revolution in Australia is in full swing. No matter in what state or territory you happen to live in, it makes sense to begin the switch to electric vehicle ownership. That's because the perks outweigh the perceived drawbacks. In fact, in the long run, driving an electric car is far cheaper than running a petrol car. Plus, you'll be doing your bit to save the environment.
Right now, electric vehicles (EVs) make up only a small fraction of all cars on Australian roads. But that's changing fast. EVs are becoming increasingly popular, with sales more than doubling in the last 12 months. And as battery technology continues to improve, range anxiety is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Gone are the days of worrying about EV cars representing low performance. These days, electric cars are just as good - if not better - than petrol cars. In fact, some of the world's most prestigious car makers, such as Tesla and Porsche, only make electric vehicles.
Alternatively, if you're after a compact standard petrol vehicle be sure to check out our guide to The Best Australian Small SUVs In 2022.
So, what's holding Australians back from making the switch to EVs?
A big factor is cost. Electric cars are still more expensive to buy than petrol cars. But that's changing too, and there are many things to factor into your budget, such as savings on operating costs. For more advice on this, check out our guide 'How Much Should You Spend On A Car'.
The other obstacle is a lack of charging infrastructure. While there are now close to 3000 public charge points across Australia, this needs to increase dramatically if we're to see widespread adoption of EVs.
The good news is that all Australian states and territories offer some form of incentive to encourage people to buy electric cars. So, if you're thinking about making the switch, now is a great time to do it. Who knows, you may even find that EV car ownership suits your lifestyle more than you ever imagined possible.
Ultimately, there will come a time when all cars on our roads will be electric-only. So, it makes sense to get in on the action now.