Queensland Electric Vehicle Subsidies Get Qld Out of the Slow Lane

Hannah Mitchell | Mar 16, 2022

16th March 2022: Queensland Electric Vehicle Subsidies Get Qld Out of the Slow Lane

The Queensland Government’s $55 million electric vehicle funding package has today been welcomed by clean transport advocacy group Solar Citizens as an important first step to driving down transport pollution. The announcement includes $3,000 for 15,000 electric vehicles and $10 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“With fuel prices and the cost of living going through the roof, more and more people want to switch to cars you can fuel up at home for a fraction of the cost,” said Stephanie Gray, Strategist at Solar Citizens.

“Government support for the rollout of electric vehicles is vital for Australian families to have a long-term solution to battle volatile petrol prices. 

“Electric vehicles are cheaper to run and maintain than petrol cars and they slash emissions, but the price tag is still a major barrier for many people.”

A survey of a representative sample of 807 Queenslanders commissioned by Solar Citizens in December 2021 found that purchase price was the biggest barrier to switching to an electric vehicle, particularly for those on a low income. 

“The $3,000 rebate is a practical step to reduce the cost of electric vehicles and puts Queensland on the same page as states like New South Wales and South Australia that are encouraging the uptake of cleaner cars,” said Ms Gray.

“But more government support is needed to build a thriving local electric vehicle industry and provide commuters with a reprieve from high fuel prices.

“We’ve seen a number of states make commitments to boost the uptake of electric transport while the Morrison Government has been asleep at the wheel on this issue.

“There’s plenty more that both states and the Federal Government can do to slash the upfront cost of cleaner electric cars so that Australians can cash in on the fuel savings.”


Media contact: 

Stephanie Gray 0425 543 006

Queenslanders want electric vehicles, but Government needs to do more to bring down price barrier

Hannah Mitchell | Jan 18, 2022

13 December 2021: Queenslanders want electric vehicles, but Government needs to do more to bring down price barrier  

Queenslanders are keen to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) but are being deterred by the higher purchase price and there’s strong support for the State Government to do more to bring down the upfront cost, according to polling commissioned by Solar Citizens.

A representative sample of 807 Queenslanders polled by market research firm Dynata showed 44 per cent were interested in purchasing an EV as their next car, but price was the biggest barrier for 52 per cent. Those on lower incomes were the most likely to say that price was the biggest barrier. 

“The data is telling us that Queenslanders are ready to get in the driver’s seat of a cleaner car, but the price is keeping them locked out,” said Ellen Roberts, Solar Citizens’ National Director. 

“People know that EVs are cheaper to run and safer for the climate and our health, but they’re being let down by a State Government that’s lagging behind on clean transport.

“Unlike New South Wales, the ACT and other states, Queensland doesn’t offer any meaningful subsidies or policies to make cleaner cars more affordable for everyone.”

Seventy eight per cent of Queenslanders polled supported the Queensland Government reducing the costs of purchasing an electric vehicle through measures like waived stamp duty or subsidies.

“As the State Government gets ready to release their Zero Emissions Vehicle Strategy, now is the time to bring down those cost barriers for people and get more electric cars on Queensland roads,” said Ms Roberts.

“It’s also an opportunity to avoid other states’ missteps, as half of those surveyed said an EV tax would make them less likely to buy a cleaner car.”

Just 10 per cent of respondents named range anxiety as the biggest barrier. Lower running and maintenance costs were considered the most appealing benefit of an electric car, followed by the lack of tailpipe emissions. 

“It’s great that the State Government is investing in important charging infrastructure but that’s not enough. These results show us that concerns about range anxiety and charging are outdated, the Government needs to lower the upfront costs so people can start saving money and lowering emissions.”


Media contact: Ellen Roberts 0408 583 694 

Key survey results:

  • Interest in purchasing an EV as next car
    • 44% interested 
    • 32% were unsure
  • Biggest barrier to considering an EV
    • 52% Purchase price
    • 25% Access to charging points
    • 10% Range
    • 5% Availability of a suitable model
    • 8% Don’t know
  • Lower income respondents ($40,000 or below) were most likely (62%) to say price was the biggest barrier
  • Support for Qld Government reducing EV purchase costs, for example by waiving stamp duty or introducing subsidies
    • 50% Strongly support
    • 28% Support
    • 15% Don’t know/not sure
    • 3% Oppose
    • 4% Strongly Oppose
  • Most appealing benefit of an EV
    • 46% lower running and maintenance costs
    • 20% lack of tailpipe emissions
    • 13% Less noise pollution
    • 9% Opportunity to charge from rooftop solar panels
    • 8% Power and performance
    • 4% Safer

Full results available on request. 


Labor's position on fuel emissions standards disappointing

Charge Ahead | Dec 01, 2021

Solar Citizens has expressed disappointment at the news today that Labor will dump fuel emissions standards in the lead up to the Federal election.

‘We’re very disappointed to learn today about Labor’s plan to dump fuel emissions standards from their upcoming election policy.

‘Everyone from car manufacturers to health professionals are calling for fuel standards for Australian vehicles. Fuel emissions standards will not only mean that Australia becomes competitive in the global electric vehicle market, but will clean up polluted air in our cities and mean billions saved in health costs.

‘We simply can’t delay the transition to EVs - Australia is already lagging far behind other countries and risks becoming a dumping ground for the world’s unwanted polluting cars. The longer we delay the transition to electric vehicles the more expensive motoring in Australia will become.

‘The Morrison government has shown no leadership on clean transport, even though they seem to have moved on from their toxic campaigning on EVs in the 2019 election. In the absence of Federal leadership, the States, particularly NSW, have stepped up. However fuel emissions standards are such a key policy piece and Labor should seize the opportunity to show they’re backing Australian motorists.’

Solar Citizens is a movement of thousands of solar owners and everyday Australians who want to see a transition to renewable energy and clean transport. Solar Citizens’ Charge Ahead campaign has been pushing for Federal and State action to urgently increase the uptake of electric vehicles to bring down fuel costs, clean up the vehicle fleet and assist with the energy transition.

SA electric vehicle buyers to pay more, despite new incentives

Charge Ahead | Oct 28, 2021

Clean energy advocates Solar Citizens have welcomed stronger financial incentives for South Australian electric vehicle buyers, but warn the Marshall Government’s package will leave local buyers paying more than in other states.

The Government’s bill to introduce a road user charge on electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles narrowly passed the South Australian Parliament’s upper house today, despite opposition from Labor and the Greens.

The Government’s initial proposal has been improved with a delayed introduction to the road user charge, paired with $3000 subsidies and an exemption from registration fees for electric vehicles.

Solar Citizens’ electric vehicle campaign lead Alistair Perkins said the financial incentives do not make up for the new tax on zero emissions cars.

“It’s good that South Australian EV buyers will be able to access some of the incentives offered in other states, but this rushed new tax is a step in the wrong direction,” Alistair Perkins said.

The passage of the legislation makes South Australia one of few jurisdictions in the world to introduce a tax on zero emissions vehicles.

“The Government’s failure to offer the stamp duty discounts available in New South Wales and the ACT is a missed opportunity that will leave South Australians paying more.”

“South Australia would benefit from a rapid uptake of EVs, with world-leading opportunities to charge from abundant and affordable renewable energy.”

“With the state election less than six months away, all parties have an opportunity to commit to ambitious policies that put more people behind the wheel of EVs,” he said.

Slam the brakes on Marshall Government’s EV tax

Charge Ahead | Oct 13, 2021

Clean energy advocates Solar Citizens have urged South Australia’s upper house to reject the Marshall Government’s plan to tax zero emissions vehicles that run on renewable energy.

The Government’s bill to single out electric vehicle owners with a road user charge passed South Australia’s House of Assembly today, with a showdown now looming in the upper house before parliament rises in November.

Solar Citizens’ national director Ellen Roberts said the crossbench should reject the bill in its current form and demand a stronger package of incentives for new EV purchases.

“The government’s plan locks in a permanent next tax in exchange for a small number of temporary grants,” Ms Roberts said.

“Zero emissions vehicles will tackle rising transport emissions and fuel costs, but the government’s tax will turn prospective buyers away,” she said.

The Government will need to win over crossbench MPs to pass the controversial bill, with Labor and the Greens having already confirmed their opposition to the proposed tax on zero emissions vehicles.

In August, Solar Citizens’ launched the Charge Ahead campaign, which asks state politicians to tackle the financial barriers for EV buyers by supporting stamp duty exemptions, discounted registration and upfront purchase subsidies.

Electric vehicle uptake has surged in the ACT and NSW on the back of nation-leading policies [1] introduced earlier this year, which Roberts said South Australia should replicate.

“South Australia is a world leader for rooftop solar and large-scale renewables, but taxing electric vehicles without strong incentives would be a step in the wrong direction.”

“Rather than putting a new tax on clean air, the government should be accelerating South Australia’s snail-paced electric vehicle transition.”

[1] The Driven, EV uptake gets 20 per cent boost from ACT’s free rego policy, August 9 2021.

Marshall Government takes a wrong turn on electric vehicles

Charge Ahead | Aug 26, 2021

Community campaign Charge Ahead says the South Australian Government’s plan to tax electric vehicles and only offer a small, short-term incentive will slow the state’s transition to more sustainable cars.

The Marshall Government's latest proposal fails to provide the stamp duty discounts available in other states and will impose a tax on electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles from 2027.

Charge Ahead campaigner Alistair Perkins has called for South Australia's upper house crossbench to block the package in its current form.

“South Australia is a world-leader for renewable energy but is on track to become one of the first states to legislate a tax on electric vehicles,” Alistair Perkins said.

“This is an opportunity to harness renewable energy to reduce fuel costs and cut transport emissions, but more incentives are needed to support the transition to cleaner cars."

Recent polling released by the Australia Institute found that a road user charge would make 70% of South Australians less likely to purchase an EV [1].

"We know a lot of motorists are keen to switch to an electric vehicle, but the upfront cost is a barrier.

"This announcement falls well short of the support available in New South Wales and will leave South Australia in the slow lane.

"We are pleased the government has deferred the introduction of an EV tax until 2027, but urge the opposition and crossbench to send this package back to the drawing board," he said.

Solar Citizens has launched the Charge Ahead campaign, which asks state governments to:

  • Defer the introduction of road user charges until EVs make up 50% of new car sales
  • Introduce financial subsidies to make EVs available to more people
  • Transition government fleets to electric by 2030
  • Invest in charging infrastructure and local EV and battery manufacturing

Charge Ahead is a campaign of Solar Citizens, a national organisation of rooftop solar owners and supporters advocating for clean energy and transport

[1] New tax to put the brakes on electric cars, Canberra Times, 15 August 2021

NSW Government Accelerating Clean Cars

Hannah Mitchell | Jun 20, 2021

20th June: NSW Government Accelerating Clean Cars

The New South Wales Government has today announced a $490 million package to drive electric vehicle uptake, a move celebrated by independent community group Solar Citizens.

The package includes a $3,000 upfront subsidy for 25,000 electric vehicles under $68,000 and waived stamp duty for vehicles under $78,000. The New South Wales Government will also invest $171 million on charging infrastructure and defer introducing road user charges for electric vehicles until 2027 or until EVs make up 30% of new car sales.

“It’s fantastic to see the NSW Government taking ambitious action to accelerate clean transport, said Solar Citizens' National Director Ellen Roberts.

“Helping drivers switch to electric vehicles is crucial for NSW to reach net zero emissions by 2050, as transport emissions are rising rapidly.

“Electric vehicles can run on cheap renewable energy and don’t produce pollution that harms our health and drives climate change. EVs can also provide valuable grid services by soaking up excess solar during the day and feeding it back into the grid when it’s needed.

“A policy vacuum has kept electric vehicles out of reach for many Australians.

"The NSW Government’s electric vehicle strategy shows it’s serious about tackling transport emissions. Introducing a $3,000 subsidy and deferring road user charges will help make electric vehicles more affordable for all drivers.

“Now we’d like to see other states and the Federal Government follow the lead of NSW and introduce these kinds of sensible and forward-thinking policies to encourage EV uptake”

Last year Solar Citizens launched a campaign representing electric vehicle owners and supporters to advocate for ambitious EV policies from NSW and other State Governments, including:

  • A state electric vehicle target
  • Upfront EV subsidies to help achieve price parity with ICE vehicles
  • Reducing motor vehicle duty and registration fees
  • Deferring road user charges until EV uptake is higher
  • Investment to fill gaps in charging infrastructure, and support homes and businesses to be EV ready


Media contact: Ellen Roberts 0408 583 694

EV Charging for Regional QLD Welcomed, But More Needed to Drive EV Uptake

Hannah Mitchell | Jun 16, 2021

16 June: EV Charging for Regional QLD Welcomed, But More Needed to Drive EV Uptake

The Queensland Government’s announcement today of $2.75 million to expand the state’s electric vehicle network is a positive move, but more is needed to help Queenslanders afford a cleaner car, says independent community group Solar Citizens. 

The new charging sites will expand Queensland’s Electric Super Highway with 18 additional charging sites in regional areas. 

“Electric vehicles are a win-win for Queenslanders, they can run on cheap clean renewable energy and slash emissions that are harmful to our health and the climate, said Solar Citizens National Director Ellen Roberts. 

“Today’s announcement of more regional charging sites is a welcome move to unlock more of the state for emissions free driving, but it doesn’t address the biggest barrier which is cost.

“Having enough charging sites is crucial once drivers are on the road, but the reality is many Queenslanders can’t yet afford an EV in the first place.

“Other countries are seeing a huge increase in drivers switching to EVs by bringing in incentives to lower the cost, but Australians are being left behind.

“States have the opportunity to lead the way on the transition to clean transport, just like they’re leading on clean energy”

“Electric vehicles are cheaper to run and maintain and can provide valuable grid services by soaking up excess solar during the day, so they should be a no-brainer here in Queensland where we have record rates of rooftop solar.

“It’s great to see Transport Minister Mark Bailey recognising the importance of making electric driving more accessible. Now we’d like to see Queensland follow the lead of states like Victoria and Queensland and do more to make electric vehicles affordable for all.”

“It’s encouraging to see the Queensland Government seeking public consultation on their EV strategy so Queenslanders can have their say and we look forward to participating.”


Media contact: Ellen Roberts 0408 583 694

Victoria's EV Tax Keeps One Foot on the Brake

Hannah Mitchell | May 25, 2021

25th May 2021: Victoria’s EV Tax Keeps One Foot on the Brake

The Victorian Government’s electric vehicle tax will keep Victoria in the slow lane on electric vehicles.

Legislation to introduce road user charges for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles passed today, a move that was condemned by community group Solar Citizens.

“Australia is already lagging behind on electric vehicles, and introducing this tax now will only slow down EV uptake even more, said Solar Citizens’ National Director, Ellen Roberts.

“Electric vehicles are the future: they can be powered with clean solar and wind power, and are cheaper to run and maintain.

“It’s disappointing that the Victorian Government has gone ahead with this premature tax, while the rest of the world is bringing down the costs of EVs to encourage people to make the switch.

“If the Government wants to reach its own target of net zero emissions by 2050 then 100% of vehicle sales need to be electric by 2035, but right now we’re at less than 1%.”

“We should be helping more people to afford cleaner, cheaper to run cars, not making them even more expensive.

“The Government took an important step forward by announcing a $3,000 subsidy and a 50% EV target, but this tax is a big step backwards.

“This EV tax will add up to $5,000 to the cost of an electric vehicle, at time when they’re still unaffordable for many Victorians”


For comment call Ellen Roberts on 0408 583 694