A new report into electric vehicle technology has advocated for Australian workers with long commutes to receive tax breaks for using EVs.
The study by KPMG Australia into the uptake of EVs in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney found disparities between age and size of vehicles used in urban areas compared to outer suburban areas.
The data indicated Australians in outer suburbs opt for larger, more spacious cars (such as Toyota Land Cruisers and Holden Commodores) compared to newer, smaller cars (like Toyota Corollas and Volkswagen Golf) in the inner city. In these scenarios, replacing the larger petrol vehicles for longer commutes with EVs would have a greater environmental impact.
“If the current trends persist, emissions will be highest in areas with the slowest EV uptake,” elaborated Ben Ellis, KPMG planning and infrastructure economics leader.
“Replacing one conventional vehicle in an outer suburb could lead to much higher emissions reductions than replacing one in an inner city.”
Focusing on state-level EV targets of 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030 in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, the study investigated expected EV uptake at a local suburb level.
It found the average passenger car fleet age to be much larger in postcodes further away from the CBD, like 11 years in Melbourne’s Craigieburn area compared to seven years in Melbourne City. With a potential switch to electric models, the emissions savings potential per vehicle in Craigieburn is almost 10 times that of inner-city Melbourne. However, Craigieburn is projected to have one of the lowest EV shares of all analysed areas.
The resulting KPMG report, launched at the Infrastructure Sustainability Council Connect Conference Queensland, has recommended tax breaks for EV owners, an EV import campaign, and ‘purchase incentives’ for low-cost EVs and lower-income households.
It follows the federal government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy that is currently accepting submissions for questions about EV infrastructure, petrol emission standards, and local manufacturing in Australia.
Last year, the Electric Vehicle Council (the national body representing the electric vehicle industry in Australia) estimated almost 9,000 electric vehicles had been sold in the first half of 2021.