Media releases

State Government emissions targets welcome, but questions need answers

3 May 2021

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) welcomes the State Government pledge to halve Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – central to which is the plan to dramatically increase sales of new zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) to 50 percent. But concerns remain about market distortion. 

‘This move by the Andrews Government goes further than anything offered at a Federal level and shows good leadership. However, conditions are in place,’ said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.

‘There are fewer than 7000 ZEVs currently registered in Victoria. The State Government’s subsidy announcement should significantly increase that number. But VACC is not a supporter of distorting markets through subsidies, as this can unfairly benefit one business at the expense of another. 

Victorian motorists can now receive a $3000 subsidy when buying ZEVs. Applicable to cars only, motorists are able to access the subsidy once and businesses will be able to apply twice.

‘The cheapest ZEV in the local market is $44,000 and the subsidy cap runs out at the luxury car tax threshold of $69,000. That means only five models meet the criteria,’ said Mr Gwilym. 

Also contentious is a new road-user charge announcement.

The 2.5 cents per kilometre for ZEVs – which includes hydrogen – (two cents for plug-in hybrids) has been criticised by some groups. However, the Chamber contends that it is the fairest way to improve and maintain the state’s road network. 

‘If a motorist uses the roads, they should help pay for the build and upkeep,’ said Mr Gwilym.

The Andrews Government’s announcements include a pledge to power all government-owned enterprises – including schools and hospitals – by renewables from 2025. There are also budgets to reduce agricultural emissions and increase the uptake of ZEVs for public transport use.

The government will dramatically increase its own fleet of ZEVs by purchasing 400 new cars, and build more charging infrastructure at a cost of $19 million.

The Chamber has been invited to sit on the government’s expert panel to ensure industry concerns are reflected in any new policy and infrastructure decisions.


ENDS
 

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