17 May, 2018
How do you convert a petrol enthusiast to drive an electric vehicle (EV) instead?
As the push to make our car fleet electric heats up, for many countries, introducing incentives for drivers to go electric has been the first 'carrot and stick' approach taken.
Of those countries, Europe and more particularly Norway were the first to start trialling various incentives, from tax rebates to exemptions on road taxes and tolls or even rebates on new car sales of EVs or hybrids.
Norway first introduced incentives back in the 1990s, offering exemptions for EVs and hybrids on acquisition and value-added tax (VAT), road tolls and ferry charges.
The country is now the world leader in EV sales based on market share.
However, other countries with similar incentives have not seen the same degree of take-up.
While China and the US account for more than half of the world's electric cars and also offer incentives, they don't have the same penetration. The same goes for EV-friendly countries like Germany and France.
Countries like France and the UK have upped the ante with a ban on all new combustion engine vehicles by 2040. China has announced a similar plan but without providing a date.
Here's what countries around the world have in place:
Closer to home
For now, there are no federal initiatives in Australia to spur the sales of electric vehicles.
However, EVs used for business can claim the same tax deduction on petrol as can their petrol counterparts, even though they don't use any.
All other incentives are offered at a State level and, compared to international incentives, are minor.
However Australia's private sector is also preparing for an electric change, particularly regarding infrastructure.
In WA, RAC built Australia's first RAC Electric Highway® for drivers between Perth and Margaret River back in 2015. Since then, the NRMA has announced plans to roll out charging stations across NSW and ACT. QLD has also established the Queensland Electric Super Highway in the past year.
Energy providers like Synergy and Horizon are building charging stations, and in a true mark of the changing times, traditional petrol station companies are announcing strategies to go electric.
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Need an incentive for a low emissions vehicle?
RAC's Less Emissions Mission program rewards EV owners with discounts of up to 25% on comprehensive car insurance, discounted finance rates with RAC Finance and savings on RAC's Auto Services.