Are There Any Australian Tax Rebates for Buying Electric Vehicles?

Electric and plug-in vehicles may be new to the automobile industry, but they’re fast becoming a competitive alternative to traditional cars. Though hybrid, plug-in, and fully electric car sales made up only 1% of total new vehicle sales worldwide in 2016, Bloomberg predicts that those sales will increase to 54% by 2040.

Bloomberg’s prediction is aggressive compared to some other models, but one thing is for certain: electric cars are here to stay. So the big question on most consumers’ minds is simple. Why should I buy an electric car over a gas-powered vehicle?

Your answer may be one of the many government incentives available. Internationally, governments have increasing environmental concerns. Australia offers electric car buyers some great reasons to ‘go green’ with their automobile choices.

Current EV Buying Incentives in Australia

Australia’s still catching up to the rest of the world when it comes to EV purchase incentives. A few do exist, though, and are easy to use as long as you know about them!

1. Sponsored Financing for EV Purchases

In 2017, Australia announced a partnership with Macquarie Leasing. Its goal was to reduce the cost of financing for electric vehicle purchases. The program gives EV buyers a 0.7 per cent discount on financing, and a further 0.5 per cent discount for conventional but eco-friendly cars purchased.

2. Reduced Registration Costs

In Victoria, Australia, electric car owners can look forward to a discount on their vehicle registration costs. The state gives drivers of electric plug-in cars a $100 discount on their annual registration.

In the Australian Capital Territory, electric car owners receive a 20% discount on annual registration costs. The stamp duty for completely electric vehicles in this territory is reduced to $0, as well.

Suggested Incentives: EV Purchases in Australia Going Forward

Australia only provides a few incentives to EV buyers right now. However, a report compiled by ClimateWorks Australia in 2016 suggests possible improvements to the country’s attitude. The report cites a number of companies and entities, all wanting to make the country as EV-friendly as possible. Tesla and Renault Australia were some of the co-signatories of the report. The Australian Electric Vehicle Association and the Electric Vehicle Council also pitched in.

Here are a few of those ideas to improve Australia’s future relationship with the electric car industry.

1. Expanded Operating Incentives

Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory give residents financial incentives to ‘go green.’ Likewise, the report suggests national operating incentives for electric vehicles. These incentives might include reduced registration costs and priority lanes, among other options.

2. Infrastructure Improvement

Electric cars need somewhere to charge. The report suggests an inventory of Australia’s current charging infrastructure, followed by an expansion. Publicly maintained parking areas would have designated EV parking slots with charging stations.

3. Up-Front Incentives

Many countries offer tax credits and rebates for an electric vehicle purchase. Tesla’s American website reports that any vehicle purchased on or before December 31, 2018 will receive a $7,500.00 tax credit from the American federal government.

The report encourages similar tax credits from the Australian government, or perhaps a rebate system for EV purchases. The country could take its example from existing policies elsewhere. Washington, DC recently implemented a sales tax rebate for certain electric vehicle purchases.

4. Government Fleets

The report also suggests that the Australian federal government set a goal for EV uptake within its fleet of vehicles. By adding a visible number of electric cars to its fleet, the government would stand as an example to citizens and encourage more people to purchase electric cars.

Besides visibility, the presence of electric cars for government use could create more charging infrastructure throughout Australia. The report suggests that charging stations for the government fleet could be made available for public use as well.

5. Increased Publication on Vehicle Emissions

The report points out Australia is a signatory of the Paris Agreement. That agreement committed the country to a number of environmental goals. One of these is a commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Electric cars could help Australia reach this goal, and the report suggests that Australia make more public efforts to educate its citizenry. A public campaign might go a long way to inform the public on the harmful effects of carbon emissions and benefits of electric vehicles on the road.

6. The Luxury Car Tax

This tax is one of the most prohibitive realities of Australia’s current tax law among prospective electric vehicle owners. As it stands, the luxury car tax applies to anyone who imports a vehicle with a value above the LCT threshold. The tax rate for these imported vehicles is 33% on the amount above that threshold.

The report suggests a reduction or elimination of the luxury car tax for electric vehicles. Consumers are subject to the tax because Australia does not manufacture these cars locally, and dealers must import their inventory from out of the country.

We Keep Marching On

As Australia becomes more EV friendly, the co-signatories of the ClimateWorks Australia report hope electric vehicle purchases will rise the way they have in other countries around the world. A warmer reception to electric vehicle purchases may even herald economic perks for the Australian government itself; Tesla said in August 2018 that it might consider building its cars in Australia if the market improved.

Like many technologies, the future of the electric car changes daily. We like to keep an eye on all those advances and innovations. For the latest updates and most exciting news in the world of electric vehicles, keep an eye on our blog.

To Infinity and Beyond: All About Infiniti’s Latest Electric Vehicle

Take a trip with us down memory lane, as Infiniti revealed its latest electric vehicle.

The Inspiration 10 concept car continues the retro theme from the automaker with a sleek roadster that almost looks like it’s made out of silver. This is the second reveal Infiniti has made at Pebble Beach’s Concours d’Elegance.

Last years Prototype 9 gave us that 40s vintage look with exposed wheels and all. This year it was all about speed, streamlined curves, and a race car cockpit.

So, what does a one-seater race car have to do with electric vehicles for Infiniti? Let’s find out.

Infiniti’s Latest Electric Vehicle

Yes, concept cars don’t make it past the show floor 99% of the time. And yes, much of it is purely marketing hype, rather than practical design. With that being said, concept cars, like the Prototype 10, can also give us a peek into the minds of car designers.

Design director Karim Habib thinks of this latest creation as a demonstration of the potential that all-electric vehicles can provide. Evocative designs of the past are deemed impractical by today’s standards because of the limitations of traditional motors.

He says this concept car “hints at the potential for Infiniti to adopt rigid, modular platforms with flat floors to underpin every one of its new electrified vehicles.”

A Race Car Body

Let’s just take a moment to talk about how impressive this blast from the past is on the outside. It immediately transports you back to the humble beginnings of races during the 40s and 50s. Cars were a lot heavier back then, so they needed to be smaller and more streamlined.

The Infiniti concept car hugs the ground and is very short. This would make handling a breeze–if it were operational. While the overall look of this car wouldn’t vibe with the majority of consumers, some features definitely would.

Check out the angled air intakes at the front. These would replace the traditional front grill. This could realistically be what Infiniti’s future electric vehicles incorporate in the future. The headlights may even be viable features, as LEDs can output a ton of light within a small space.

When you move onto the side and back of the Inspiration 10, there seems to be less to work with on future designs. Sometimes concept artists just want to make art to test the boundaries. This is all very important to keep things from getting stagnant in the office.

Electrified for the Future

When you add up all the aerodynamic characteristics going on with this car, you get a vision of highly efficient cooling solutions. Infiniti is trying to demonstrate ways that you can cool the battery pack on an electric car while ditching traditional body design. They took an old race car aesthetic and transformed it into a specialized electric vehicle.

When you start talking about the inside of Infiniti’s latest electric vehicle, there’s a lot more room for interpretation. Just a quick peek into the driver’s cockpit, you’ll see all the typical racing trappings. You have your racing harness, a performance-style steering wheel, and large pedals.

The instrument display is straightforward and reflective of how streamlined electric vehicles can be. Consumers will obviously need more than basic gauges; nobody is going to buy a new car without an on-screen display.

Making the Preparations

Infiniti is excited about what they can do with the internal layout of electric cars. Accommodating electric motors and batteries is much more intuitive physically than traditional gas engines. They are making lighter, slimmer car bodies that can work with electric powertrains.

Nothing is definite at this point, as everything is still in the design phases, but you can see the thought process. We think this latest concept car is Infiniti’s way of sharing their vision of future creativity, free of limitations. Taking this design too literally could miss the real potential for a rebirth of innovation in the automobile.

Functionality and artistic expression can live side-by-side, thanks to electric vehicle innovations.

What to Expect Next

They say that you must take a look back before moving forward. This latest electric vehicle concept by Infiniti certainly fits the bill. The craftsmanship on display here is simply a work of art. This thing could go on display at any major art gallery and turn heads.

Infiniti wants to do more than just win concept car awards, though. They are looking forward to leading the charge in the electric car space in the coming years. Things will start to pick up quickly as other automakers look to transition fully into BEV (battery electric vehicle) offerings.

Infiniti has projected that they will have two new electric vehicles and Nissan itself will four by 2022. The first Infiniti electric vehicle is slated to come out in 2021, but only as a hybrid. Going forward, Nissan has pledged that all new vehicle announcements will be electric after 2021.

The six electric vehicles will make up Nissan and Infiniti’s share of the 12 electric vehicles planned for Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi by 2022. Future electric vehicle announcements are slated to be BEV and not just hybrids.

Speed Bumps Along the Way

The company has been critical of the number of government incentives recently. Nissan/Infiniti’s CEO has cited the need for lower developmental costs and greater public education for EVs to succeed. Nissan has also begun forming relationships with Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng Motor.

This move will increase building capacity of the automaker, signifying their vast investment towards an “electrified future.” While it won’t be on the same scale as EV giant Tesla @6k/per week, it will be tens of thousands more than current production with just the Nissan Leaf.

More on Electric Vehicles

If you’re excited about the future of these fast, compact, and economically-smart cars, there’s plenty more on the way. At All-Electric Vehicles, we pride ourselves in delivering affordable, efficient, and long-lasting electric vehicles. Browse the latest in personal transportation or ask us about upcoming releases.

Stay tuned to our blog for all the latest news, vehicle reviews, guides, and more. You’ll learn all you need about the latest electric vehicle you should consider buying.

The Perks of Buying Electric Vehicles

In 2017, Australia electric vehicle sales grew by 70 percent. And yet, the country is still seven years behind other nations in electric vehicle uptake.

What’s causing the delay?

The upfront cost of small electric vehicles may be the reason for this lag. Overcoming the delay is a matter of increasing awareness around all the many benefits of small electric vehicles.

From saving energy to saving money, the advantages of buying an electric vehicle are plenty. If you’re interested in cost-savings and saving the environment, (who isn’t?) then an electric vehicle is the answer.

Keep reading to find out more about electric vehicles and all of their benefits.

Energy Efficiency

What is energy efficiency? It refers to the amount of energy coming from a fuel source that is converted into actual energy used for powering the wheels.

Compared to gas-powered vehicles, electric vehicle are far better at converting their fuel to actual energy. Meaning, they’re far more energy efficient than conventional vehicles.

An electric vehicle converts as much as 62% of energy into spinning the wheels. A gas-powered vehicle is only capable of converting a maximum of 21% into moving you along.

Electric vehicles also maintain their efficiency throughout its lifetime. Whereas the relative efficiency of a gas-powered vehicle decreases as it gets older.

When a natural gas plant supplies the electricity used to charge your battery, you’re saving energy there too. A natural gas plant is more energy efficient than a fossil fuel engine. And if some of that electricity is provided by solar panel or a wind turbine, that efficiency only goes up.

Last but not least, internal combustion engines used to power conventional vehicles also give off heat. Heat is wasted energy.

Reduced Emissions

Global warming threatens our health and the health of our environment. All over the world, we’re recording record high temperatures, rising sea levels, and severe drought.

The main contributor to global warming is carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is produced when petrol and diesel are burned in an internal combustion engine. Transportation by gas-powered vehicles currently accounts for 13% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Emissions also contribute to smog, which affects public health. That’s especially true in large cities.

Electric vehicles reduce emissions greatly. By relying on a rechargeable battery for their power, electric vehicles don’t produce any emissions from burning fossil fuels like petrol and diesel.

Save Fuel Money and Operating Costs

The average Australian family spends nearly $17,000 on travel costs every year.

By not using petrol or diesel to power your vehicle, you save a lot of money on fuel. The distance you can travel for a fuel cost of $1.00 is about four times further with an electric vehicle than a gas-powered vehicle.

But you also save on operational costs and maintenance, especially if you properly maintain your battery.

While conventional vehicles use oil to lubricate the engine, there’s no need for a regular oil change on an electric vehicle. In fact, you won’t require any expensive engine work.

Your brakes also last a lot longer on an electric vehicle. So there’s no need to fix or replace those often either.

As more electric vehicles drive the roads, the demand for public charging stations will rise. Charging at a public site will save you electricity from your home and increase your savings even further.

Reliability

Forget having to make a quick stop at the gas station when you’re already late for work. With an electric vehicle, you can charge your vehicle at your own home so its ready for use when you need it.

As more public charging stations are made available, you’ll soon be able to charge your vehicle at the office or while you’re on the road.

A rechargeable is also less complicated than an internal combustion engine and you can rely on them for a lot longer. Nissan recently published a study that showed that 99.9% of their battery packs are still operating according to warranty five years later. They’ve maintained 80% of their original capacity.

Help the Economy

37% of Australia’s energy use comes from liquid fuels like petrol and diesel. That includes 98% of the country’s transport needs.

That reliance on petroleum makes the economy vulnerable. Besides the effects of price spikes, a serious supply disruption could have devastating consequences for food supplies, medication stocks as well as military capacity.

Increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road provides a larger diversity of fuel choices. More fuel choices mean less reliance on petroleum, less economic impacts and less chance of a supply disruption impacting national security.

As it stands right now, by 2030 Australia will be 100% reliant on imported petroleum. But electric vehicles can help Australia achieve energy independence.

Increasing the purchase of electric vehicles also has a positive impact on the economy by attracting investment and creating more jobs.

Incentives

Many governments are proposing incentives for people who buy electric vehicles.

In South Australia, incentives include not having to pay duty stamps and receiving free car registration for five years. That could save $2155 in duty stamp and registration fees for anyone who buys a $40,000 electric vehicle.

Available in a Wide Range of Applications

Small electric vehicles don’t just include your everyday cars anymore. They can now be purchased as utility vehicles, golf carts and even shuttle vehicles. The Dubai mall even uses them for taxi services.

So, if you’re a business owner that relies on transport, electric vehicles can help you get the job done with all the aforementioned benefits and advantages.

There’s No Reason Not to Buy a Small Electric Vehicle

Despite the higher upfront costs of small electric vehicles, they save on fuel costs, operational costs as well as maintenance and repairs. They’re also far more sustainable than gas-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles reduce emissions and are more energy efficient.

Perhaps even more advantageous is the fact that by buying an electric vehicle, you’re helping the economy in terms of energy independence and the creation of jobs and investment. With all those benefits, the upfront cost is a small price to pay.

For the latest news in electric vehicles, check out our blog.

7 Helpful Tips for Achieving Max EV Battery Life

Electric vehicles are the latest in auto engineering that allows you to both save money on gas and be kind to the environment. There are some things to considering, however, when making sure you’re obtaining the max EV battery life.

More often than not, electric car owners complain that they aren’t getting the most out of their investment due to not properly taking care of their vehicle battery or charging it as efficiently as possible. This can lead to having to charge your electric car more often or decreasing your car battery lifetime.

7 Tips to Get the Max EV Battery Life

To avoid issues like decreasing your car battery lifetime or needing to charge your electric vehicle more often than necessary, take a look at these tips to get the most out of your electric car’s battery.

1. Slow and Steady

Driving at a slower speed will help conserve the energy of your car’s battery. If your daily commute allows, always opt for a slower alternative, such as avoiding the highway and taking neighbourhood roads.

2. Keep an Eye Out for How You Charge

Believe it or not, charging your electric vehicle to the max is bad for its lifespan. Usually, there are options on your EV to charge your battery at “Standard” or “Max”. Unless you are charging your car for a short period of time, the best thing you can do for your battery is to charge it at “Standard” overnight or for a few hours. You never want your battery to sit at 100% for an extended period of time.

3. Plan Ahead for Vacations

If you’re travelling and leaving your electric car in a garage to drive home when you come back, be sure to plan ahead so that your car charges enough to get you home. If you aren’t using your car to get home, either leave your car unplugged or have your battery setting to not charge your electric vehicle past 50%. Then when you get home, you can charge it again.

4. Find a Shaded Area

If you go shopping, are at work, or even spending a couple hours getting drinks, always try and park your car in a shaded area. This will both help keep your car nice and cool for when you get back as well as help avoid overheating to maintain the lifespan of the software and battery under the hood.

5. Monitor the Battery Life When in the Heat

Similar to above, most technology doesn’t thrive in the heat. If you are driving around in the summertime or live in a hot area, keep an extra eye out for your battery life. You may need to charge your electric vehicle more often than you’re used to as the EV will drain more in hotter environments.

6. Plan Your Travel

This is one of the most important tips for both maintaining max EV battery life and ensuring you are travelling safely. Before travelling a long distance, make sure you know where all possible charging stations are. You don’t want to get caught stranded because you ran out of battery life before you had the chance to get to a charging station.

7. Avoid Quick Charging When Possible

Quick charge is a nice and convenient way to charge your EV quickly when you are in a bind but that should not be your go-to charging method. Each time you use the quick charge option on your EV takes extra life out of your battery. Using the quick charge actually takes an additional 10% out of the life of your battery compared to charging your EV normally. Whenever possible, charge your EV using the “Standard” option.

8. Don’t Let Your Battery Run Out Before Charging Again

Some may think that letting your battery run out before charging it again is a good idea. This is not the case. Letting your battery discharge before charging it again can actually decrease its lifespan even more than charging it earlier. Keep an eye out for your EV battery percentage and try to not let it run past 30% before charging it again.

9. Schedule Your Charging Times

Charging your EV overnight is the best time to charge your car and is obviously the most convenient. It isn’t ideal, however, to let your electric vehicle charge overnight. You EV tends to work best at around a 50% charge. If you are able to plan your commute at a 50% charge then do so. If not, see if your battery allows you to time your charge sessions to have the charge stop at least two hours before you use your car in the morning. This will help avoid using your car when it’s still hot from the charge.

10. Examine Your Terrain Options

If you have a hybrid vehicle that allows you to decide when you want to use the battery and when you want to use your gas, see what type of terrain options. Most of the time, you have to manually switch the type of drive you are using. If you live in a hilly area or are driving to a hillside or mountainous area, switch your hybrid to gas and change your drive to “Mountain Mode” to avoid draining your battery or have your car working harder than it needs to.

Considering Purchasing an Electric Car?

Ensuring you are getting the most out of your EV is a top priority when owning an electric vehicle. You’ve made an investment and you want to get the most out of it. Consider these tips when maintaining the lifespan of your electric vehicle and battery. Keep these tips in mind as well if you are new to electric vehicles and are considering purchasing one of your own.

Choosing an electric car is an exciting time and when taken care of properly is an amazing investment. Whether you are wanting an electric vehicle to drive around your neighborhood, are looking a golf cart to cruise around your local golf course without renting, or are looking for a nice hybrid to use daily and on longer trips, consider All Electric Vehicles for the largest selection of electric cars and experts in maintaining your max EV life.

Tesla Unveiled its New Roadster… and it’s Awesome

Tesla, Inc. is not a firm known for doing things by halves. Instead, the Elon Musk-helmed electric vehicle pioneers are known for going all out when it comes to headline-grabbing announcements and product launches.

Back in 2008, Tesla launched their original Roadster – a car which finally proved to all the doubters that all-electric vehicles really could cut the mustard with more traditional, petrol-powered sports cars. In 2018, SpaceX launched Elon Musk’s Roadster into space, resulting in pictures which were surreal. If you want fireworks, you found them with this outfit of all-electric vehicle pioneers.

So, each new Tesla release is something that should excite you. And, of course, the new Tesla Roadster, is no exception. Slated for release in the 2020 model year, the new Tesla Roadster is gearing up to be something extraordinary indeed.

An Updated Model, a Decade in the Making

Relaunching the Roadster is something Tesla has been promising to do for some time now, and Elon Musk got straight to the point ahead of the unveiling;

“We started Tesla with a sports car, the Tesla Roadster, and it is the foundation of the whole company,” Musk said.

“People have been asking us for years when we are going to build another Roadster, and I can confirm that we are doing it now. The release of the new Roadster is a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars.”

‘A hardcore smackdown’ is a nice turn of phrase, but what will this mean in practice? Let’s take a look in a little more detail.

Powerful Stuff from Tesla

Not content with rubbing shoulders with the big petrol-guzzling supercars from Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, et al. Tesla is rumoured to have produced an electric vehicle which will leave its rivals in the dust. The new Roadster is projected to have the fastest acceleration of any car on the planet, hitting 100 kilometres per hour in an astonishing two seconds from a standing start, and covering 400 metres in only 8.9 seconds. Of course, all that acceleration can’t go on forever, but, with a top speed of above 400 kilometres per hour, the new Tesla Roadster gives it a good old go.

“Yes,” say the sceptics (and, unbelievably, there are still a few of them about), “but what about its range?”

In recent years, the range of all-electric vehicles has grown enormously, turning what were once prototypes and experimental vehicles into genuinely useful, practical cars suitable for the rigours of everyday use. As the industry leaders in this field, Tesla was never going to be left standing when it comes to battery life, and the range of the vehicle is predictably impressive. The Roadster is expected to include a 200-kilowatt-hour battery, capable of travelling a distance of over 1000 kilometres; something standard petrol powered cars would seriously struggle to achieve. The Roadster is a vehicle with enormous potential and one which will not be dragged down by concerns about its practicality, or its suitability for driving in a country as vast and as open as Australia.

Poise and Practicality

We can expect the finished article to go above and beyond even these impressive specs. The vehicle presented at the unveiling was, only a base model. The acceleration, range, and overall top speed figures which have already wowed audiences could be considerably higher on higher level models once the Roadster gets its final release. Even this ‘humble’ base model is packing three electric motors, capable of more than 1000 Newton metres of torque.

The unveiled model is a four-seater – two in the front and two in the back – with a convertible roof, giving the vehicle an attractively sporty aesthetic. As a luxury vehicle, it is critical that the Tesla Roadster looks the part, and Musk and his team have achieved this with room to spare. Those not yet entirely sold on the all-electric vehicle revolution may have their heads turned by the impressive figures racked up by the Roadster’s battery and motor, but this will come to nothing without jaw-dropping exterior and interior detailing. Fortunately, Tesla has shown that they are more than capable of providing this in spades.

An ultra-agile vehicle, with an impressive top speed and significant levels of torque, the Roadster is already pushing most of the Australian sports car fan’s buttons. But, we must not forget that the Roadster is designed to be a means of transportation, and this means practicality is a must.

Details are still scarce about the practicality of the Roadster, but the Tesla team have assured the public that this something which has been kept firmly in mind during the vehicle’s development. The Roadster is superb in many ways, but it needs to double up as a vehicle suitable for everyday use – ideal for heading off on holiday or for picking up the kids from school, for example. Early reports suggest a generous amount of storage space; enough to keep the brand’s many fans happy. Bear in mind, this is no people carrier, but most users should find what the Roadster offers to be sufficient, according to the team behind the exciting new vehicle.

A Vehicle Worth Waiting For

Unfortunately, we were never going to be delivered all this goodness without there being a downside or two to consider. So far, the car is looking as impressive as expected, even going beyond this in several key areas. The catch is that the finished article is still some distance away from our dealerships, roads, and driveways.

The unveiling may have come roughly a decade after the original launch, but the timer will have ticked beyond twelve years by the time the new Tesla Roadster achieves its release for the 2020 model year, assuming there are no hold-ups along the way.

But, as they say, good things come to those who wait, and the new Tesla Roadster looks like it is going to be an excellent thing indeed!

Everything You Need to Know about the Jaguar I-Pace

Will the SA Government be the First to offer EV Incentives?

Continuing its ongoing commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the Labour government of South Australia has proposed electric vehicle incentives for consumers. The proposal would create the first government electric vehicle incentives in Australia. While the announcement drew praise from many industry leaders and consumers, others are not convinced. Labour promises that the changes will take place if the party wins the March 2018 elections.

Many factors come into play when a government announces new proposals. In this case, car manufacturers and consumers are two important groups that sometimes have opposing views. Readers and commenters on automotive websites offer their own compelling ideas. With upcoming state elections, voters with other priorities – such as school funding – could influence the outcome and even derail the incentives.

If Labour wins the South Australian election and the incentives take effect, the impact would be felt in three ways:

  • Consumer choices
  • Environment
  • Economy

What Are the Incentives?

The Labour government hopes to convince Australian drivers to buy zero-emission electric vehicles. If the incentives are enacted, consumers who buy electric vehicles or zero-emission vehicles would not have to pay a stamp duty and could register their car for free for five years. For example, a consumer who buys a $40,000 electric vehicle could save $2155 in stamp and registration fees over five years. A purchaser of an $80,000 electric vehicle could save $3755. The Compulsory Third Party insurance premium, the Lifetime Support Scheme Levy and administration fees would still be required for electric vehicle buyers.

Environmental Benefits

One of the leading causes of climate change is the burning of oil and other fossil fuels, according to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. The South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, Ian Hunter, announced the proposed electric vehicle incentives on February 23, 2018. He described the measures as part of Labour’s commitment to the state’s “clean and green” reputation.

Labour is presenting the incentives as a step toward reducing carbon fuel emissions from the state’s transport sector. In the city of Adelaide, for example, cars contribute 90 per cent of the city’s transport emissions, which make up 35 per cent of Adelaide’s carbon emissions. Hunter stated that the proposed incentives would be the latest step toward making Adelaide the world’s first carbon-neutral city. Previous decarbonising measures in the city include investments in a Tesla battery storage facility, and in recharging centers throughout the Adelaide area.

Labour has already committed South Australia to a 75 per cent renewable energy target and a 25 per cent renewable storage target by 2025. Minister Hunter stated that the incentives to drive carbon-free cars will ensure South Australia’s role as “a world leader when it comes to taking strong steps to combat climate change and its impacts.” Noting that electric vehicles are already a sound environmental choice, Hunter said that the proposed incentives would also make electric vehicles a wise economic choice.

Many in the general public have applauded the Labour announcement. One commenter on Drive.com praised the government for “thinking outside the box” and for “investing in the future.”

Financial Impact  

Automotive industry leaders have praised the incentives. The CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, Beyhad Jafari, stated that Labour’s announcement represents South Australia’s leadership in attracting investment and creating jobs. He described electric vehicles as the “future of the transport industry,” and added that consumers will see an immediate benefit from less expensive commutes to work and school.

The CEO of South Australia’s own Mitsubishi, Jon Signorello, hailed the incentive plan as a sign of the state government’s leadership in “developing a sustainable future transport industry.”

In addition to the proposed incentives, Labour will continue to press the federal government for tariff relief for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The resulting lower prices, the Labour government hopes, will convince more drivers to switch to carbon-free cars.

Critics of the Incentives

The chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, is one industry critic of the proposed incentives. Noting that electric vehicles are part of a broad range of low-emission or zero-emission cars, he said that the government should not promote one type of vehicle over others. Weber prefers consumer choice in a market that includes hybrids, low-emission combustion, and hydrogen-powered cars.

Some people are not convinced that all South Australians will enjoy the economic benefit of the electric vehicle incentive package. One commenter on Motoring.com stated that the incentives would only benefit drivers who can afford the $40,000 price tag on the least expensive electric vehicle. The waived stamp duty and free registration would not benefit a consumer who can only afford a $20,000 car, and would not persuade that driver to choose an electric vehicle.

Some readers who criticised the incentive plan still generally supported zero-emission technology. A commenter on Drive.com suggested that a “cap on the subsidy” would encourage the introduction of electric vehicles that more drivers could afford. Another reader echoed the criticism from Tony Weber, wondering why the Labour government was not providing incentives for hybrid cars.

Commenters also worried about the effect on consumers in other states. Would sellers increase electric vehicle prices in other states, with the justification that the registration fee was included in the price? Would the higher prices result in fewer drivers switching to electric cars?  If these comments represent consumer opinion, a lower price may be a good incentive.

Conclusion

Whether or not you worry about climate change, the proposed incentives are an important issue for South Australians. If Labour wins the election and follows through with its promise, the state government will continue its leadership role in combating climate change. More car buyers will likely switch to electric vehicles. More electric vehicles would mean lower carbon emissions.

Although some industry leaders oppose the focus on one type of zero-emission car, the announced incentives have put carbon-free technology in the spotlight. Lobbying continues for removal of tariffs on low-emission cars. Australia’s first government-backed electric vehicle incentives could have a broader impact than it seems at first glance.

Ford Announces $11 billion Investment in Electric Vehicles

The electric vehicle marketplace is looking a little bit brighter following Ford’s recently announced $11 billion investment into the development of electric-powered vehicles.

Speaking at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, Ford chairman Bill Ford announced the mammoth automaker’s acceleration of its plans for electric vehicles following recent developments in the electric marketplace. The company plans to invest the money over the next four years, and the recently announced investment marks an increase over the company’s previously announced $4.5 billion investment.

Shifting Priorities to Electric

Projected against Ford’s annual research budget of $7.3 billion, the new figure means that Ford could be spending up to a third of its research dollars on the development of new electrified vehicles. According to Chairman Ford, this new investment could give the Ford fleet up to 40 new electrified vehicles, split between plug-in hybrids and full electrics.

This gives some credence to earlier statements made by Ford CEO Jim Hackett back in October. At an investor’s meeting, the CEO stated that Ford planned to cut production costs and use the savings to reprioritise investments into electric vehicle technologies.

Chairman Ford told reporters that these new electric models wouldn’t just be new models. “We’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them.” The company recognises that many of its most popular vehicles have lasting power, and allowing a new electric vehicle to bank on an established name gives it a greater chance for success.

Ford is Not Alone

Ford is not the only automaker to plan a major investment into electric cars. General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen have likewise announced big plans for the electric marketplace. Responding to consumer demand, the automakers have pledged to develop vehicles that offer luxury and performance on an electric drive train, including vehicles in the popular SUV body style.

GM has announced that it plans to add 20 new electric cars and SUVs to its lineup by 2023, including a mixture of both battery-powered vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. The world’s one-time largest automaker is sinking its robust profits from gas-powered vehicles into its electric developments, and it expects to return a profit on its investment by 2021.

Not to be outdone, Volkswagen has announced a $40 billion investment over the next twelve years. That figure does include research into both electric and autonomous vehicles, but it still represents a gargantuan investment from the world’s largest automaker. In fact, the announcement nearly doubled an early announcement from just two months prior, when Volkswagen announced a €20 billion investment over the same time period.

Toyota didn’t make any new announcements regarding its electric vehicle plans, but it did mention that it’s working to commercialise a new battery technology that could drastically decrease the cost of electric vehicle production.

Not Just Mini-Mobiles

For years, the limitations of batteries and electric powertrains have relegated battery-powered vehicles to small, low-power platforms, such as the Nissan Leaf. However, Ford recognises that consumers have a robust range of automotive needs, and the company is tailoring its electric lineup to service the entirety of the automotive market.

A key element of Ford’s electric fleet will be a high-performance utility vehicles, including at least one SUV-style vehicle. The company has also announced that the automaker’s most popular vehicle, the F-150 pickup truck, will be receiving a hybrid drivetrain option in 2020.

Low-Speed Vehicles Part of the Strategy

Although Ford has been enthusiastically touting the electric leap of its flagship models, the company has quietly entered the niche world of electric golf carts. Starting in 2018, Australian golfers will start seeing carts bearing Ford’s iconic blue oval at a variety of different golf courses.

At present, the Detroit automaker is focused on fleet sales for golf clubs. The new carts contain several high-tech features, but the company’s main priority is delivering a reliable vehicle at an affordable, long-term price. If the initial launch goes well, Ford expects to offer a retail option in 2019.

The company is already planning two models, a basic model with 8-inch wheels and a deluxe model featuring 10-inch wheels and upgraded seating. Both models will include regenerative braking and a walk-away safety feature to prevent unattended vehicles from rolling away.

A Shift in Focus

Ford’s embrace of the electric vehicle market has been some time coming, but the genesis of its recent shift came after Hackett replaced previous CEO Mark Fields in May 2017. Following an intensive internal review, the company formed an engineering team tasked with accelerating its global plans for electric vehicle production.

The decision was made easier by the success of Tesla Motors, which focuses exclusively on electric vehicles. The Silicon Valley automaker recognised that consumers don’t want to choose between high-performance vehicles or environmentally friendly options; consumers want both, even if they have to pay extra. As Ford’s Jim Farley, president of global markets, stated at the Detroit show, “What we learned from this first cycle of electrification is people want really nice products.”

Ford’s investment has also been spurred by signals from China, France, India and the United Kingdom. These four countries have pledged to eliminate fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040, but their citizens don’t intend to give up driving. These drivers will still need vehicles that aren’t powered by petrol, and Ford doesn’t intend to cede the market to other manufacturers.

In making its plans, Ford has committed to partnering with local suppliers. Several of Ford’s 40 announced electric models are targeted at the Chinese market, for example, and will be produced in conjunction with China’s Zotye Auto company.

Australia Post Begins Electric Vehicle Delivery Trial

Starting March 20, 2017, Australia Post began using electric utility carts to serve routes in Hobart, Tasmania on a trial basis. Five new three-wheeled carts now deliver goods in Howrah, Bellerive, Mornington, Montagu Bay, Rosney Park, Warrane and Tranmere.

According to Mitch Buton, Australia Post’s Head of Network Optimisation, Hobart is an excellent starting point for the trial due to the area’s increasing reliance on Internet-based shopping. Australia’s yearly growth rate for online shopping is around 11.5 per cent, but Hobart’s rate is currently well above the national average at 13.8 per cent. Clothing, health and beauty products and recreational items are especially popular with local shoppers. Another reason Hobart was chosen for the trial is its flat terrain.

Parcel-Perfect Electric Carts Outshine Current Vehicles

The factory-fresh electric vehicles are designed by Swiss company Kyburz and are developed and produced in Switzerland. The carts boast three times the weight capacity of the Australian Post’s current postie motorbikes; they can accommodate up to 100 small parcels and 1,200 letters per trip. The carts can also speeds of reach up to 45km/h, and their nine-hour battery life gives drivers ample time to meet their delivery goals.

How Electric Utility Carts Are Ideal for the Post

Australia Post’s parcels volume currently generates more than 70 percent of their total revenue compared to the 25 percent that it contributed a decade ago. Now more than ever, efficient vehicle performance is a must. Several years ago, as the workforce began to shift towards carrying small parcels and letter volumes dropped to half of their former values, posties were equipped to handle the change. The addition of electric utility carts will allow them to deliver even higher parcel volumes, which will help to ensure their future job security. E-vehicles are also in use in Switzerland and Germany, where authorities report benefits such as improved rider safety and lower emissions in addition to greater load capacity.

Hobart Trial Details

Hobart’s e-vehicle trial will span three months. Similar pilot projects are scheduled for launch in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. If successful, the other Australia Post may continue to incorporate the greener, battery-powered alternative to traditional postie trikes, giving both online shoppers awaiting their goods and environmental activists a new reason to smile. Hopefully, other industries will soon follow suit.

Did Electric Car Sales in the USA Just Increase by 59 Percent in One Month?

The average U.S. driver may spend up to $4,000 on gasoline every year, so the most alluring benefit of owning electric cars is obvious; they don’t need gas. Based on a recent evaluation of U.S. electric car sales, it appears that a significant number of Americans are leaning towards greener transportation.

In the month of January alone, 12,000 electric cars were sold across the nation; this equated to a 59 percent year over year growth rate. While this only accounted for one percent of the country’s total automotive sales, the increase clearly pointed to the continuance of a strong consumer trend that is encouraging for manufacturers and environmentalists alike.

Why Electric Transportation Is Trending

The global demand for electric vehicles has been growing steadily for several years, with the U.S. playing a substantial role. Expanded product ranges, premium comfort features, environmental awareness and supportive policies all play a part in the popularity of both standard and luxury electric automobiles and hybrids.

Countries that lack supportive legislation such as tax incentives and enhanced charging infrastructure have seen weaker growth. Targeted attempts by individual states to reduce emissions and counter the effects of global warming have been working for America. States like California lead the way with emissions standards that are stricter than federal EPA requirements.

America’s Top Five Electric Car Models

A recent article published by EVObsession outlines specific details about electric vehicle sales growth in America. According to EVObsession’s data, the following top five models account for about 40 percent of total U.S. electric car sales.

1. Tesla Model S

Tesla’s award-winning luxury sedan gives the new electric car buyer access to the impressive performance, premium features and prestige that they’ve become accustomed to in gas-powered cars. The Model S ranked as the world’s best-selling plug-in electric car and 2015 and 2016 and continues to hold its place in the market.

2. Chevy Volt

The 2011 Volt hit the American market in December 2010. Attention to consumer demands and improvements in its design has kept its popularity intact for almost a decade. The 2017 Volt offers drivers up to 53 miles on electric power only, and as many as 420 miles with a full charge and a full tank of gas. Its efficiency means fewer stops and less driving range anxiety for owners.

3. Tesla Model X

Billed by its manufacturer as the fastest and safest electric sport utility vehicle in history, the Model X features a 100 kWh battery that provides a 295-mile range. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, but it also boasts safety features such as a lower center or gravity to prevent rolling and a battery structure that limits side impact damage. Today’s Model X also includes full self-driving hardware.

4. Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota’s Prius Prime isn’t simply a plug-in hybrid copy of its regular Prius. In addition to the new powertrain, it offers multiple driving modes, an 11.6-inch touchscreen and a recharge mode that utilizes the engine to recharge its battery. It’s an ideal choice for a potential buyer who is concerned about long recharge times and limited range.

5. Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Bolt’s monthly sales are still below expectations, but this is due to limited production and availability. It lures drivers with its reliable performance, spacious interior and stylish good looks. With its EPA-estimated 238-mile range, it allows owners who drive a 40-mile commute to go three or four days without charging. The Bolt EV was named 2017 Car of the Year by Motor Trend.

Honorable Mention: The Nissan LEAF

Coming in at a respectable number six, the Nissan LEAF is a worthy contender. Introduced in the U.S. in 2011, its relatively strong hold on the market can be partially attributed to its wider availability along with Nissan’s savvy marketing efforts and the car’s competitive, consumer-focused design.

Model Availability Makes Evaluation Difficult

The potential for sales may be even greater than what present data suggests. Many available electric models are still compliance cars, which are not manufactured with sales or profit in mind. Only a few thousand units of each compliance model are made, and many significant models are difficult to find outside of California and Oregon. The limited availability of electric cars that make up the rest of U.S. sales makes it difficult to accurately evaluate the market or make predictions.

U.S. Sales Evaluation: 2017 Quick Facts

The Future of Electric Vehicles in the U.S.

  • Year over year, U.S. electric car sales were up 59 percent; this includes both fully electric can plug-in hybrid cars.
  • Sales of fully electric cars were up 41 percent.
  • Plug-in hybrid sales were up 86 percent.
  • The Chevy Volt enjoyed a sales increase of 62 percent.
  • The Tesla Model S and Model X accounted for 10 percent and 8 percent of all U.S. electric car sales.
  • Models that saw a marked decrease in sales included the Mitsubishi i, the Porsche Panamera SE hybrid, the Cadillac ELR, the Smart ED and the Chevy Spark EV.

When considering the future of America’s electric vehicle market, there are many reasons for car manufacturers and drivers to be optimistic. The focus on energy independence, the health effects of emissions and the need for increased efficiency is expected to lure consumers away from traditional automobiles. Another reason to be hopeful is that virtually every major automobile manufacturer is in the game. There are unlimited possibilities for using electricity to power vehicles, and almost every company has some sort of electric vehicle development in its pipeline.

Washington Launches Electric Vehicle Incentive

Washington is known as a blue state to some because it leans heavily toward the Democrats and as a green state by others for its environmental initiatives.
Last month, however, both of these designations met head on, and the result is a new incentive for purchasing electric vehicles. At the end of 2015, more than 16,500 electric vehicles were registered in the state, and that number is now expected to increase even before the release of the much-anticipated Tesla Model 3.
On April 18, Governor Jay Inslee signed bill HB2778, which allows anyone purchasing an all-electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) to receive an instant rebate of up to $3,100 by waiving state and local taxes on the first $32,000 of the purchase price. This rebate is in addition to the tax credit of up to $7,500 available from the federal government’s incentive program for plug-in vehicles.

New Program Improves Current Incentive

Incentives for purchasing electric vehicles are not new in Washington. In fact, a program has been in place for nearly four years now. The original incentive eliminated the sales tax for all fully electric vehicles, but shortly after it was put in place, a public outcry erupted over the idea that the breaks were being taken advantage of by wealthy individuals buying luxury cars. Because of this, the state capped the incentive for the final year, limiting it to vehicles with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of less than $35,000.

Last year’s limit on the incentive caused another public outcry because it excluded several popular models of electric vehicles, such as the Mercedes Benz B-Class, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S, and it would also exclude the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which is priced at exactly $35,000. This limit was the motivation behind creating a new program rather than simply extending the one currently in place.

The new incentive is scheduled to begin on July 1, and it provides a sales-tax exemption on the first $32,000 for any electric vehicle with a selling price less than $42,500 for a maximum instant rebate of $3,100. The rebate also applies to PHEVs, but they must have an all-electric range of at least 30 miles.

“This bill will help get more Washington residents behind the wheel of a great EV,” said JJ McCoy, legislative director for the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association. “Several exciting mid-market cars with 200 miles of range will be in showrooms soon, and Washington’s incentive will give them a boost.”

Rebate Applies to Several Models

Several models of electric vehicles and PHEVs meet the requirements for Washington’s incentive program, including those from both domestic and foreign automakers. Among the vehicles that meet the program’s criteria are the following:

• BMW i3
• Chevy Volt
• Chevy Bolt
• Ford Focus Electric
• Kia Soul Electric
• Mitsubishi i-MiEV
• Nissan Leaf
• Smart Fortwo Electric
• Tesla Model 3
• Volkswagen e-Golf

Program Limits

Although the Washington EV incentive is better than it has ever been, it still has a few limits, such as applying only to first-time sales. Used electric cars must still be purchased without a state incentive.

In addition, the new incentive program does not officially end until July 1, 2019, but the state has put a limit on the number of rebates it will honor. After 7,500 rebates have been claimed, no further incentives will be offered through the program, and early estimates say this limit will be met in early 2018.

Why Incentives for EVs?

Electric vehicles offer a number of benefits to drivers and the general public, but at the current time, they are more expensive to produce than traditional cars are. Because of higher production costs, EVs are priced about $10,000 to $12,000 higher than traditional vehicles in the same class, and they also suffer from a far lower maximum range. However, the situation is changing quickly.

As battery technology improves, prices continue to drop. When charge capacity increases and prices fall to levels that are acceptable by the majority of drivers, the incentives will not be needed, and federal and state governments will no longer fund these programs. The incentives are only a temporary bridge to help people enjoy driving at a cost equivalent to about $0.85 per gallon while producing fewer harmful carbon emissions.

“As car makers scale up battery production and prices fall, EVs will soon be able to compete unsubsidized and provide a compelling value proposition,” said McCoy. “They’re also just a lot of fun to drive. We find that once people try an EV, they never they never want to go back to their gas car.”

Daimler Is Making All of Its Top Managers Drive Electric Cars

While some of the world’s governments, including those of the U.S., U.K. and Australia, have been slow to push for the wider adoption of electric cars, automakers are picking up the slack and leading by example.
Just last February, Daimler announced that the company is beginning two initiatives to further the cause of zero-emissions vehicles.

New Charging Infrastructure

The first of these new initiatives is a €30 million extension of the company’s charging infrastructure through several of its facilities. The new charging stations are expected to be fully installed by the end of the year. This seems like a great initiative on its own, but the real reason for the new charging infrastructure stems from Daimler’s second initiative, which will offer employees access to a growing number of electric-drive vehicles.

Daimler has issued a mandate to its entire executive-management team that all members must drive electric vehicles, and the company will be encouraging all managers under them to follow suit.

“We are continuing on the path of zero-emission driving with consistency,” said Ola Källenius, the board member of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz sales and marketing. “This is why we are making electric mobility an integral part of the everyday lives of our top management: to set an example and to provide a clear role model.”
Most people who drive electric cars wait until they are taking the longest break for the day to charge their vehicles, which is usually overnight or while in the office. Daimler discovered this trend some time ago and realized that it benefits drivers through convenience and efficiency because there is no longer a need to find and reach a filling station.

Daimler employees have already had access to 556 charging stations in the wider Stuttgart area, and this is considered a pioneering effort. Now, the company is taking things one step further.

“In order to enable the convenience of using our electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, we have now decided to extend the charging infrastructure at our company locations even further,” stated Källenius. “This work will already be undertaken over the next few months.”

Daimler Commits to Zero-Emission Driving

The Daimler initiative that forces its senior management to drive sustainable vehicles focuses on its plug-in hybrid models. The company believes that the technology used in hybrid-drive cars offers the best solution for zero-emission driving, and Daimler is using the project to expand its portfolio of plug-in hybrid vehicles. At this time, most of the company’s hybrid cars have already entered the European market and include the following models:

• S 500 e in Saloon
• C 350 e in Saloon, Estate and extended wheelbase
• GLE 500 e 4MATIC
• GLC 350 e 4MATIC
• E 350 e in Saloon
A pilot project for Daimler’s mandate that top executives drive electric vehicles began in the wider Stuttgart region in April 2015. Select employees at all levels of management drove the fully electric B 250 e model.

Harald Kröger, the director of development for Daimler’s E-Drive system, has long been an enthusiast of electric transportation. Long before Kröger became part of the pilot program, he drove a Smart Fortwo with electric drive while on official business for Daimler, but he later switched to one of the company’s first plug-in hybrids. He now asks that other managers follow suit by using electric cars for everyday business.

“I can only commend to my colleagues to experience themselves over a longer period the viability of our battery-electric vehicles in everyday use,” said Kröger. “I never cease to be amazed by their completely silent electric-cruising ability and yet, at the same time, by the impressively sporty nature of the electric drive system, which immediately places its full torque at disposal of any engine speed.”

“I am delighted that our eMobility initiative will give managers the opportunity to experience this drive system,” concluded Kröger.

New Offers for Daimler Employees

Effective immediately, all Daimler AG staff will be able to take full advantage of the rapidly increasing options for electric and hybrid cars. All of these vehicles are offered to managers and employees with extremely attractive terms through the employee vehicle plan. At the current time, the available models include the B 250 e, GLE 500 e and C 350 e. When combined with Daimler’s Charge@Work charging program, which began back in October 2013, employs have plenty of incentive to make the switch to zero-emissions cars.

Daimler employees also have the benefit of hiring Smart Fortwo electric-drive models from the company’s car pools in Möhringen, Untertürkheim and Sindelfingen, and the cars can be reserved for the weekend, the week or the entire month.