Running a national fleet can have its challenges in Australia with six states and two territories setting their own rules. After 120 years of Federation, most organisations and Fleet Managers have processes in place to adapt to the differences. In 2021, electric vehicles are causing a disruption in more ways than one.
Let’s start with buying an EV. If your organisation has set targets for reducing carbon emissions and electric cars are part of the plan, NSW has the best incentives.
New South Wales
In NSW, eligible EV models qualify for a $3,000 rebate and there’s no stamp duty on the purchase price. Organisations also get the guarantee of no road user charges until 2027 which provides certainty with the Whole of Life Cost calculations.
The added bonus for EV drivers in NSW is the permitted use of Transit Lanes. With the current COVID work from home policies in place you may have forgotten about traffic; but peak hour in Sydney was a nightmare and Transit Lanes are like a VIP pass.
Australian Capital Territory
In the ACT, you can also use Transit Lanes with an EV. For businesses and consumers, the government is offering two years free rego and stamp duty exemptions on zero emission vehicles which provides fleets with a financial incentive.
Western Australia hasn’t embraced the adoption of zero emission vehicles yet. There are no purchase incentives or road user charges announced by the state government. They have set a target for achieving a minimum 25% electric vehicle target for new light and small passenger, and small and medium SUV government fleet vehicles by 2025/26.
South Australia is the latest state to announce purchase incentives in August and they have matched Victoria and New South Wales. They have also delayed their road user charges until 2027.
When introduced in SA, organisations and private motorists will be charged 2.5 cents per kilometre for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and 2 cents per kilometre for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). The charge will be applied annually to the registration fee and paid in arrears which will impact budgeting and Whole of Life Cost calculations.
Rental car companies in Tasmania are being encouraged to purchase EVs with free registration while other buyers will not pay stamp duty on new or used zero emission cars.
They have also focused on infrastructure in Tasmania with grants being provided to business and tourist destinations that install charging stations.
Up north, they have built the Queensland Super Electric Highway with 31 fast chargers that allow drivers to travel from Coolangatta to Port Douglas; and from Brisbane to Toowoomba without range anxiety.
The QLD government also offers cheaper rego for hybrid and electric vehicles which isn’t significant, but it can add up to a big saving with a fleet of vehicles.
Victoria is the only state to introduce a road user charge on zero emission vehicles. The cost is the same as proposed by South Australia and it started on 1st July 2021. To offset the charge, a discount of $100 will be applied to the annual registration cost for vehicles that emit zero or low emissions by means of electric, hydrogen or plug-in electric-hybrid propulsion systems (or other zero-emissions systems).
Businesses will pay the road user charge in Victoria as part of the annual registration which will require fleets to submit photographs of the odometer readings for each vehicle and the records need to be kept for five years. A nightmare for fleets!
The good news is, businesses in Victoria are eligible to receive a $3,000 subsidy from 2nd May 2021 when they purchase an electric vehicle which may be enough to offset the extra administration costs of the road user charge.