Victoria EV rebate opens to applications – and all-electric MG leads the charge

Victoria has officially opened applications to its zero emissions vehicle rebate, notching up nearly 30 formal applications in the first 24 hours, the “first few” of which were all from buyers of the lowest-priced all-electric car in Australia, the MG.

Solar Victoria, which oversees the ZEV subsidy program for the state Labor government, said on Monday that applications for the $3,000 rebate had opened late last week, with 28 submitted since Friday July 9, and three already approved.

Solar Victoria chief Stan Krpan told The Driven that the EV subsidy scheme had received 800 registrations of interest in the two months since being announced in May, 100 of which had registered as having already purchased an electric vehicle.

Of that number, Krpan said Tesla [Model 3] was “doing really well,” with a lot of interest also shown for the new Nissan Leaf and the aforementioned MG, a compact SUV that has quickly established itself as the second-most popular EV in Australia, with its 230km range and sub-$45,000 price tag.

“Our first few applications were all for MGs,” Krpan said. He also noted that applications were coming from an “interesting mix” of postcodes around the state and certainly not just from affluent suburbs. (See The Driven’s story on Australia’s top 10 suburbs for electric vehicle ownership.)

Krpan said that applications for the rebate, as opposed to expressions of interest, were expected to continue to flow in at a steady rate, based on data supplied to Solar Victoria that suggested roughly 500 electric vehicles had been sold in the state over the past two months.

Krpan said Solar Victoria was also working to follow up on the 100-odd expressions of interest in the system from parties who claimed to have already bought an EV – the rebate applies for eligible EVs purchased from when it was first announced, in May.

“Obviously, there’s still a limited supply of electric vehicles in Australia, but we’re really confident that we’re already doing our bit to open that up,” Krpan said.

“We’re working closely with a number of car manufacturers to make sure that EV buyers know about the EV, and to make sure that they direct customers to the Solar Victoria website.”

As The Driven has reported, the Andrews government policy offers a $3,000 rebate for cars priced under $68,700. It will be open for up to 20,000 purchases, although that number may be altered after the initial offering of 4,000 applications is complete.

The rebate kicks in just as the state’s EV drivers are being asked to send in a photo of their odometer readings to comply with the state’s much less popular EV road user tax, that took effect from the start of the new financial year.

EV owners in Victoria will be taxed 2.5 cents per kilometre from July 1, meaning an annual bill of $375 for cars that travel around 15,000kms a year, but around $750 a year for electric cars that travel double that.

Any EV owner who does not comply with the request risks having the car registration cancelled or suspended, “or other penalties,” according to instructions from VicRoads.

Extracted from The Driven

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