Greens and Pocock back Labor’s EV plan, minus hybrids

Blue EV charging spot marked on road with white infographic (evie actewagl)
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The Australian Greens and independent senator for the ACT David Pocock have reached an agreement to help Labor secure enough votes to pass its electric vehicle (EV) subsidies.

Labor says the subsidies will save employers $9,000 and individuals $4,700 on an EV costing $50,000, however, it failed to gain support for its hybrid vehicle subsidies.

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Both the Greens and Pocock have claimed credit for an agreed compromise that would see hybrids eased out of the package and the number of zero-emissions government vehicles boosted.

The crossbenchers argued the inclusion of hybrids in the bill would be a ‘de facto subsidy for fossil fuels’. The Greens said removing hybrids from the deal would save $1 billion over a decade.

The Australian Greens leader Adam Bandt said the party would back the plan following Labor’s agreement to end subsidies for plug-in hybrids from April 2025.

“By limiting handouts to petrol cars and accelerating support for electric vehicles, the Greens in balance of power have pushed the government to go further and faster on climate,” he said.

The Electric Vehicle Council has welcomed the deal reached between the government and senate crossbenchers.

The scheme will exempt EVs from import tariffs and from fringe benefits tax, making the vehicles more affordable for employers to include in salary packages.

“This is a landmark moment for EV policy in Australia. It’s a powerful demonstration of how far we’ve come in just a few short years,” Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari said.

“This bill will allow thousands more Australians to get behind the wheel of an EV where they can access the benefits of lower fuel bills, cutting pollution, and an enjoyable driving experience.

“Making new EVs easier to buy will turbocharge the creation of a strong second-hand market for EVs, which is vital for affordability.

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“If the federal government combines this bill with new fuel efficiency standards we will soon see a market develop in Australian through which everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of EVs.”

The Bill will be introduced to the Senate late this year.

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