How Australia’s biggest state is spending $633MILLION on electric vehicles


How Australia’s biggest state is spending $633MILLION on electric cars when fewer than one per cent of Aussies own one – and a tweet from a tech billionaire reveals who REALLY benefits from the cash splash

  • NSW government will spend an extra $38million on its electric car strategy  
  • Will be spent on more charging points in streets and apartment buildings 
  • Critics say subsiding electric cars only benefits the rich who can afford them

Australia’s most populated state is spending more than $630million on its electric car strategy even though just 0.6 per cent of Aussies own one, NSW budget figures reveal.  

State Treasurer Matt Kean – known for climate change campaigning – announced on Tuesday that his government will spend an extra $38million on its electric car strategy, taking total investment to more than half a billion dollars.

The cash will be spent on rolling out more charging points in streets, apartment buildings and designated charging stations.   

Australia lags the rest of the world when it comes to the take-up of electric vehicles, which account for less than one per cent of the million new cars sold every year. 

NSW will spend an extra $38million on its electric car strategy this year, taking total investment to $633million in a bid to boost Australia's slow take-up of electric cars

NSW will spend an extra $38million on its electric car strategy this year, taking total investment to $633million in a bid to boost Australia’s slow take-up of electric cars

Software billionaire and clean energy investor Mike Cannon-Brookes (pictured with wife Annie) is among those who support electric car take-up

Software billionaire and clean energy investor Mike Cannon-Brookes (pictured with wife Annie) is among those who support electric car take-up

Across Australia, fully electric vehicles have a minuscule 0.6 per cent market share. 

The NSW government wants to drive that figure to more than 50 per cent by 2030-31 under its Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Critics say the policies only help the rich because electric cars – which start at $44,000 – are too expensive for average income earners. 

But supporters insist investment needs to be made now in preparation for when electric cars are cheaper and more popular.

Software billionaire and clean energy investor Mike Cannon-Brookes is among those who support electric car take-up.

Earlier this month he shared his surprise that the Moss Services Club in the southern highlands had a charging point. 

‘Kudos to the Moss Vale Services Club for having an @NRMA double EV charger in the car park,’ he wrote.

‘Charging my car while getting a schnitzel at the RSL with the kids felt like a new future for Australia… one that was nicely connected with our past.’

Earlier this month the billionaire shared his surprise that the Moss Services Club in the southern highlands had a charging point

Earlier this month the billionaire shared his surprise that the Moss Services Club in the southern highlands had a charging point

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said rolling out more charges will ‘allow more EV drivers to benefit from their cheaper running costs and a cleaner, quieter and more sustainable road network.’

He added: ‘You’ll never be far from a charger on our major highways, in regional destinations, apartment buildings and on kerbsides in metropolitan areas with limited off-street parking.’

The NSW government’s strategy involves offering stamp duty exemptions for new and used electric vehicles worth up to $78,000.

Buyers are also spared paying up to $3,000 in charges that buyers of petrol and diesel cars still have to pay.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet congratulates Treasurer Matt Kean after handing down the 2022-2023 NSW State Budget

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet congratulates Treasurer Matt Kean after handing down the 2022-2023 NSW State Budget

With a stamp duty exemption of $2,537.50 and that $3,000 rebate, they are getting back up to $5,540 from the taxpayers. 

One Nation’s NSW leader Mark Latham noted there was a a larger uptake for the subsidy in wealthier areas of Sydney’s north shore and north-west.

‘This shows how delusional NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has become in thinking he can save the planet with schemes like this,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Even from these early numbers, the inequity of the scheme is clear.

‘This was always going to be a cross-subsidy from the poorer parts of NSW to the wealthier suburbs.’

As more people use electric cars, less fuel will be bought and governments will lose fuel duty revenue. 

To make up for this the NSW government will introduce a road user charge of 2.5 cents per km (indexed to CPI) to electric cars from 1 July 2027 or when EVs make up 30 per cent of all new vehicle sales, whichever comes first.

Cash for electric vehicles in NSW

$10 million to co-fund 500 kerbside charge points to provide on-street charging in residential streets where private off-street parking is limited.

$10 million to co-fund around 125 medium and large apartment buildings with more than 100 car parking spaces to make EV charging electrical upgrades.

$18 million for more EV fast charging grants to speed up the rollout of stations.

It will also increase the number of charging points – from the current four to at least eight – at charging stations located in high density urban areas. 

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