EVs Are a Winner Under the NSW Budget, but What Are They Getting?

EVs Are a Winner Under the NSW Budget, but What Are They Getting?

The NSW Budget has once again brought a swathe of cash for the development of EVs and to the benefit of electric car owners, but what exactly is being offered up and how will it be spent across the coming financial year?

Previous years have seen the NSW budget bring trailer loads of cash for the development of public chargers, but indeed at the start of this year, the State Government followed Victoria’s Government in scrapping EV purchase incentives, which had previously saved buyers thousands of dollars on top of the purchase of a new EV.

What will the growing EV market get under the NSW 2024-2025 State Budget? Let’s dive into the papers.

What’s coming in the state budget?

The NSW Government’s EV plans are measured in the millions. At the top line, it’s an investment in infrastructure, with $149 million being put towards co-funding ultra-fast EV chargers across the state.

This isn’t a particularly new policy, but it is a significant expansion since, say, the 2022 State Budget, which saw $38 million dedicated to chargers, though it is the same amount of money that was thrown towards fast chargers in the state under the 2023 State Budget. Ideally, the State Government wants a fast charger to be available at every 100km.

Aside from that, an additional $105 million is going towards support for business and government fleets, so they can purchase EVs and the necessary infrastructure to power them.

A separate $20 million is going towards slower ‘destination chargers’ at tourist hotspots, and an additional $10 million will go towards co-funded kerbside chargers in dense, metropolitan parts of Australia.

Finally, an additional $10 million is being put towards co-funded EV infrastructure in apartment buildings, which will include efforts to retrofit these buildings with chargers.

Notice how we’re writing ‘co-fund’ though. Charging sites can cost millions to deploy across Australia, and historically the State Government has only been interested in funding about half of the cost. The other half needs to come from the companies it’s helping out, such as Evie, Chargefox, and the NRMA; companies that offer their own separate apps for use, charging costs, and service expectations.

On top of these millions, $263.5 million is being dedicated to a continuation of the NSW EV strategy.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

What do stakeholders think?

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body representing the Australian car industry, is in support of the policy.

“The NSW Government’s significant investment in electric vehicle infrastructure is a decisive step towards wide-spread adoption of the zero-emissions technology. By supporting the development of fast chargers, local government and business fleets, and EV infrastructure in key areas, this budget addresses crucial barriers to EV adoption,” CEO of FCAI Tony Weber said.

“We look forward to working with the NSW Government to support the successful implementation of these initiatives and to continue advocating for policies that promote cleaner, and low and zero-emission options for all Australians. The measures announced today are an important step towards the ambitious 50 per cent target of all new car sales being electric by 2030.”

The FCAI faced heavy scrutiny earlier this year as the development of the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NEVS) ramped up. EV-only companies Tesla and Polestar left the Chamber, accusing it of funding a campaign “designed to deliberately slow the car industry’s contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction potential,” the head of Polestar Australia at the time Samantha Johnson wrote in a letter at the time.

Hopefully, this investment from the NSW Government will see the quality of chargers throughout the state improve. As someone who uses them regularly for EV reviews, the user experience could be a lot better.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

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