Owners of electric vehicles will be able to save additional money after the Senate approved tax cuts following last-minute negotiations.
The electric discount car bill is now set to pass Friday, with the Senate voting in favor of the bill 31-24 votes.
The bill is expected to reduce taxes on electric vehicles that cost less than $84,916.
Employers could save $12,500 on a set of electric vehicles under the bill, and individuals can seek to save up to $4,300 when purchasing a $64,000 electric vehicle.
The tax cuts would be backdated to July 1, 2022, but the new cuts were only passed by the Senate after negotiations between the Greens, the Labor government and independent David Pocock.
The three parties negotiated whether plug-in hybrid vehicles, which can use both electricity and gasoline, should be allowed to take advantage of the discounts.
The Crossbench senators argued that the bill should not be allowed to subsidize vehicles with internal combustion engines.
Another deal will likely see the end of tax cuts for hybrid vehicles in April 2025, with priority given to battery-powered vehicles in Commonwealth fleets.
Independent Senator David Pocock told parliament that cutting taxes on electric vehicles was key to accelerating the country’s carbon cuts, while tackling the growing cost of living crisis.
“Slow adoption of electric vehicles is costing Australians money,” Mr Pocock said.
“It’s costing Australians money every time they go to the gas pump, and it’s damaging our climate.
“We need to look at the transition to electric vehicles in the context of climate change; it is something that we need to accelerate quickly.
Coalition members expressed their doubts about e-vehicles, wondering if they would add further strain to the power grid.
They also questioned the reliability of the vehicles for pulling large loads over long distances.
Liberal Senator Matt O’Sullivan said the bill would penalize the 10% of Australians who hitch up heavy loads and caravans at weekends.
“My answer to that is if Labor wants to penalize those who belong to that 10% and add further pressure to their day to day cost of living for simply having the temerity to own a campervan caravan, then they have to be frank with them,” MO said Sullivan.
Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the bill was a historic moment for the transport industry.
“This Bill will allow thousands more Australians to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, where they can reap the benefits of lower fuel bills, reduced pollution and a fun to drive,” said Jafari.
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