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SA offers cash for drivers to go electric

Electric Vehicles
The EV subsidies are a "green light" to switch from petrol power, the SA government says. Photo: Getty
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Up to $5000 is on the table for South Australians who buy a new electric car and install a smart charger in their homes in an expanded program to drive uptake of alternative-fueled vehicles.

The state government has started taking applications for a $3000 subsidy for the purchase of a new EV or hydrogen fuel cell car.

The government will subsidise up to 7000 new vehicles registered since the end of October as well as offer registration fee exemptions for three years.

It will further offer up to $2000 for the installation of in-home smart chargers that detect when household and statewide electricity demand is low, helping to maintain stability in the grid and reduce power costs.

The cash for chargers will be available during the next four years or until the $12.25 million fund is exhausted.

“Over the next four years, it is forecast that plug-in EVs on our roads will grow from approximately 1900 to more than 29,000,” Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said.

“So it’s important that we harness our abundant renewable energy resources to lower motoring costs, air, noise and carbon pollution, and reduce electricity costs for all South Australians.”

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the subsidies for electric vehicles were a “green light” for anyone considering the switch from petrol power.

“We’ve consulted widely with industry, manufacturers and other interest groups who have supported our critical reforms to help drive the take-up of environmentally friendly zero and low-emission vehicles in South Australia,” he said.

The subsidies will only be offered for vehicles costing $68,750 or less, to encourage car companies to bring lower-priced electric vehicles to market.

They come amid an ongoing surge in demand for EVs in Australia with sales in November hitting 568, up from 178 in the same month last year.

They also follow a recent survey of 1000 Australians conducted by financial broking firm Savvy, which found 40 per cent would consider buying an electric vehicle in the future but 79 per cent said affordability was a key issue.

With 37 per cent of respondents saying they would spend up to $40,000 on their next car, most EVs would still be well out of their price range.

“There is a taste for EVs in Australia, but I wouldn’t say that it’s what everyone is clamouring for just yet,” Savvy managing director Bill Tsouvalas said.

– AAP