Victorians will no longer have access to the $3000 EV purchase subsidy from June 30 this year, as the debt-ridden State Government looks at ways to cut spending.
The decision to scrap the rebate was quietly included in the May State Budget paper, but was picked up first by an EV-focused news site The Driven.
“The Victorian Government had to make some difficult budget decisions this year and unfortunately not all programs could continue. Given the growth in demand for ZEVs over the past 12 months, applications for subsidies will close at 6pm on 30 June 2023,” the government confirmed.
When it launches the program in May 2021, the Victorian government aims to offer more than 20,000 subsidies, rolled out in batches, ending no later than May 2024 unless all 20,000 are exhausted before then.
“The ZEV subsidy will be applied immediately for any eligible vehicle purchased from Sunday 2 May 2021 until the rebate is fully committed, or three years, whichever comes first,” said the fact sheet.
Now there are 2776 more subsidies, the government claims. However, while we do not have exact figures on current take-up, it is likely that the number of Victorians who will benefit from the payments is well below this promised figure of 20,000.
Another figure is reported by The Driven and obtained from a data firm Carloop has a total of around 7700 subsidies received as of April 15 this year.
Buried in the State Budget papers are statistics which claim only 4713 applications for the Zero Emission Vehicle Subsidy have been processed in 2022/23, compared to the target of 8600.
“Expected 2022-23 results are lower than the 2022-23 target due to continued supply delays and a decline in the number of eligible models in the program as vehicle price increases occur across the sector,” the newspaper said.
This seems wrong given the continued rollout of sub-$70,000 EVs to the market and the surge in EV sales in Victoria this year, with market share having risen from 1.8 per cent in 2021 to 6.6 per cent this year.
As Victoria is currently the only region to also sting EV and PHEV owners with road user charges – other regions have delayed the plan until sales are higher – the State has become the most hostile to low-emissions vehicles in the country.
More than 240 Victorian drivers have reportedly had their vehicle registrations revoked for failing to pay the controversial ‘Zero Distance and Low Emission Vehicle Charge’, with one owner telling news agencies their registrations were revoked without their knowledge.
Regardless, the State’s Zero Emission Vehicle Roadmap aims for half of all light vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles (pipeline) by 2030.
Residents of most other States and Territories will still have access to rebates on low-end EVs, including up to $6000 in Queensland, $3500 in Western Australia and $3000 in New South Wales and South Australia.
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