On Wednesday Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said encouraging electric vehicle (EV) uptake would help protect Queensland motorists from petrol price hikes and climate change-inducing carbon emissions.
The $3,000 subsidy for EVs less than $58,000 will exclude the majority of EV models, with only a handful coming in below this price point.
Affordable models include the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai's Ioniq and BYD’s Atto 3, which was recently launched in the Australian market.
Australia’s cheapest EV on the market is the MG ZS EV, which will set motorists back between $46,990-$49,990.
Queensland also has a reduced rego duty rate for EVs, according to comparison website Finder.
The Queensland government, which announced the incentives alongside its new EV strategy, has committed $45 million towards the subsidies.
There are also $3,000 EV incentives in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
The government will also sink $10 million into charging infrastructure, including bolstering a series of fast-charging sites it calls the “Queensland Electric Super Highway”.
“Not only does this encourage people to buy electric vehicles, it gives the automotive industry confidence to set up shop in Queensland,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
Improving charging infrastructure is key to driving EV uptake because motorists can have “range anxiety” when making long trips.
In a 2020 survey by the Electric Vehicle Council, 45 per cent of respondents said the concerns about EV range had stopped them buying one.
Batteries on wheels
The Queensland government also wants to turn the “family EV into the family battery”.
This refers to new “bi-directional” or “vehicle-to-grid” charging technology where the electricity can travel both ways. This will allow car batteries to soak up excess renewable energy for use when renewables aren’t generating.
For households with rooftop solar, this means your car could double as a battery and allow you to store cheap clean energy once the sun goes down.
“We are working now on building rules that would transform the family EV into the family battery – plugging into solar at work, or in major carparks, charging up when the sun is shining – and then, with bi-directional charging capacity, putting electricity back into the home when the sun has set or the wind isn’t blowing,” Bailey said.
This could see motorists rewarded with cheap charging at off-peak times such as in the middle of the day when solar panels are charging.