For inventors around the world, technological innovation is often looked at as a force of its own. Like any force in nature, it moves forward by itself and naturally propels people towards new and brighter futures. Among that technology, there is no doubt that electric vehicles are one of the most profound developments in the last century. Of course, in countries like Australia, there is an embarrassingly low number of people turning towards these vehicles for their daily drive. And worst of all, many suggest the government is to blame.
When it comes to green initiatives, Australia is usually running toe to toe with the best of them. In fact, a 2015 report found that 15 percent of Australian households already were topped with solar panels, taking a great step in the right direction. Since they have made such progress on the solar front, it would make sense they would follow suit with electric cars, but seeing a dismally low 0.01 percent of the market, this just isn’t the case. In fact, countries like the US And UK has 0.75 percent and 1.1 percent saturation of electric cars already. So, what is keeping them from buying into electric cars?
One of the biggest challenges consumers face when purchasing a new vehicle are the various costs associated with it. They have to register the new car, which means extra money out of their pocket. Furthermore, more expensive cars, a category that electric vehicles fall into, are hit with a hefty luxury tax, which means an extra 33 percent on top of the price tag if your Australian vehicle is more than $75,000. When you consider how much you are spending on a vehicle to begin with, the extra costs lumped on by the government can add up fast. In effect, you can quickly see why some suggest the government is causing extra emissions. Of course, the best response is to instead work on offering incentives to those who buy a new electric vehicle.
Recognizing the harm these increased taxes can have on moving forward with an electric vehicle, a coalition headed up by ClimateWorks is petitioning the federal government in Australia to offer some incentives for these vehicles. For starters, they suggest that luxury taxes on the more expensive options should be dropped when an electric car is purchased. More than this, they offer the idea that reduced registration costs, discounted parking and other tax incentives could lead to a significant spike in sales.
While it is always difficult to predict how well a program will work like this ahead of time, the global history of such endeavors seems to support the idea. After all, countries like the US, who have a much bigger market saturation, have achieved that rate in part thanks to similar tax incentives. Rather than subsidizing the purchases, which can often have a negative affect, the idea is to just reduce the extra fees charged by government let progress actually progress.