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SA Govt delays EV tax, offers buying subsidy

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The State Government will delay introducing its controversial electric vehicle tax until 2027 and will instead offer $3000 one-off subsidies for EV purchases, under new legislation to be tabled by Treasurer Rob Lucas today.

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Lucas had previously sought to introduce a 2.5 cents per kilometre tax on plug in hybrid vehicles by 2021, but the move was postponed until after the election due to parliamentary opposition and blowback from industry.

Following an extended consultation period with the sector, Lucas said he had now agreed to delay the implementation of the tax until at least 2027 or when EV sales reach 30 per cent of South Australian new car sales – whichever comes first.

He also announced his new revised bill – which he conceded is “unlikely” to pass parliament – would see $3000 one-off subsidies distributed to support 6000 new EV purchases.

“Our proposed new $3000 State Government-funded subsidies for new full electric vehicles are expected to provide a further incentive for those motorists who may be considering a purchase of this type,” Lucas said.

“The subsidies, which are consistent in value to those offered in Victoria, are contingent on the Bill passing the Parliament and would be introduced at that time.

“While we accept that looks unlikely at this stage, we remain hopeful.”

The new subsidies would bring the total amount of State Government support for EV take up from $18.3 million to $36 million, according to Lucas’s office.

Opposition environment spokesperson Susan Close reaffirmed Labor’s opposition to the government’s proposal despite the introduction of a new subsidy.

“Labor remains opposed to a tax on electric vehicles and we aren’t going to fall for Lucas’ trick of tying an incentive payment to a tax,” she said.

SA Best MLC Frank Pangallo, whose party holds two crucial crossbench votes in the Upper House, said the incentives offered by the government appear to represent an improvement on their previous proposal.

“However I hope the Treasurer can dig a little deeper into his deep pockets to make the incentives more attractive than what he currently has on the table,” he said.

“That said, the devil is in the detail and we are yet to see the proposed legislation in its entirety.

“Once we have, we will consult further with all stakeholders to seek their feedback on what the government is proposing.”

He said SA Best would continue to consult with Lucas to “see if we can find a more attractive solution that satisfies all parties”.

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