ACT paves the way to an electric vehicle future

ACT Government zero-emissions Electric Vehicle NRMA
ACT Government  zero-emissions Electric Vehicles NRMA

From 24 May 2021, newly purchased zero-emissions vehicles will receive two years of free registration in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) as part of a $5.1 million ACT government scheme to encourage more people to switch their cars to more efficient alternatives. 

New or used zero-emissions passenger vehicles will be eligible under the scheme which runs until 30 June 2024. Zero-emissions vehicles purchased before 24 May 2021 will not be eligible, however the will receive a 20% ongoing reduction on registration fees.

ACT reforms at a glance
  • Two years free registration for newly purchased new and used Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) from 24 May 2021 until 30 June 2024 in ACT (this was previously a 20% discount) 
  • Stamp duty exemption on newly purchased ZEV in the ACT  
  • ZEVs are permitted to drive in transit lanes until 2023 
  • Plans for interest-free loans of up to $15,000 for the purchase of ZEVs as part of the sustainable household scheme, which as includes vehicle recharging infrastructure 
  • A new network of 50 public charging stations for ZEVs to be rolled out across Canberra over the next 12 months 
What the NRMA thinks

The ACT has some of the most generous incentives in the country for electric vehicles, which include stamp duty exemptions, access to transit lanes and interest-free loans. These additional savings in registration fees of a couple hundred dollars each year, for two years, is another good incentive to purchase a zero emissions vehicle.

The NRMA supports the ACT Government's announcement and strongly encourages all Governments to reform motoring taxes to make electric vehicles cheaper for Australian motorists to purchase, thus encouraging their take up. We want lower motoring costs, improved vehicle choice for consumers, and better health and environmental outcomes to support our future generations.

Next steps for the ACT

Chief Minister of the ACT Andrew Barr said transport accounts for around 60% of the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions, of which 70% are from private vehicles.

“Reducing transport emissions in the ACT is an essential step to achieving a sustainable, resilient future for our Territory and to reach our goal of net zero emissions by 2045,” said Mr Barr.

ACT Greens leader and Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Shane Rattenbury said the “obvious’ next step for the Territory was to make the shift to electric vehicles.

“Our community understands the need for practical and meaningful action to address climate change. With our 100% renewable electricity supply, the obvious next step is to shift to electric vehicles as they offer a zero-emissions transport solution,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Pushing the case for reform

The adoption of EVs offers an opportunity to transform mobility in Australia and reduce the cost of transportation for consumers. It will also help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution and noise produced by ICE based vehicles at low operating speeds.

However, for these benefits to materialise, more supportive policies and regulations, like those introduced by the ACT government, need to be in place to provide value to customers and support efficient use of the energy grid.

Action to date
  • We are spending $10 million to building one of Australia’s largest fast charging networks to support the electrification of the transport sector in NSW and the ACT.
  • In 2017, we released The Future is Electric report, with the Electric Vehicle Council, to outline benefits and propose policies and recommendations for governments. 
  • In 2018, we released the Recharging the Economy report with the Electric Vehicle Council and the St. Baker Energy Innovation Fund, to highlight the economic opportunities of a move to electric vehicles.
  • In 2020, we released EVs: accelerating adoption in Australia proposes 10 recommendations to help accelerate the competitiveness and expansion of the domestic EV market and partnered with the NSW Government to deliver at least 20 additional electric vehicle fast chargers across major regional corridors, creating the most comprehensive regional charging network in the country.
We will continue to push governments to prepare the nation for the inevitability of electric vehicles.