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The Western Australian Government has launched a $60 million Clean Energy Car Fund to accelerate the use of electric vehicles (EVs), including $3,500 rebates and investments in EV charging infrastructure.

The fund was announced as part of the 2022-23 Western Australian State Budget.

The Clean Energy Car Fund will include $36.5 million to provide up to 10,000 rebates of $3,500 to Western Australians that buy a new electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle up to a value of $70,000 from 10 May 2022.

Transitioning away from petrol-fuelled vehicles will benefit the environment and deliver significant household savings, while also enabling the average Western Australian driver to save more than $1,400 per year on fuel cost.

The replacement of 10,000 petrol-fuelled vehicles with electric or hydrogen vehicles is expected to reduce carbon emissions by at least 7,000 tonnes each year.

The Western Australian Government is also investing $22.6 million in new charging infrastructure to expand Western Australia’s electric vehicle charging network.

Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said, building on its $750 million Climate Action Fund that was announced in 2021, the State Government is implementing further initiatives to significantly reduce carbon emissions and progress towards net zero emissions.

“Our $3,500 rebates are one of the most generous grants on offer in the nation and will see an extra 10,000 electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on our roads,” Mr McGowan said.

“This will assist Western Australia with reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, while also reducing the pressure of high petrol prices on Western Australian households that utilise the rebate.

“Our $31 million commitment to climate action research and planning will see State Government agencies take a leading role in reducing carbon emissions and support industry to reduce its carbon footprint.

“These significant investments will support climate resilient communities in the suburbs and regions, and ensure Western Australia can have a prosperous low carbon future.”

Investments in the 2022-23 State Budget include:

  • $10 million to support not-for-profits and small and medium-sized businesses with grants of up to 50 per cent of the installing charging infrastructure costs
  • $5 million to support local government’s install charging infrastructure by providing grants of up to 50 per cent of the installation cost
  • $4 million for the Public Transport Authority to trial the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at four train stations, providing up to 20 bays per car park with commuter charging access
  • Over $2.9 million in eight new charging stations across four locations on a section of National Highway 1 between Norseman and Eucla to ensure Western Australia’s electric highway extends to South Australia

Western Australian Climate Action Minister, Reece Whitby, said the State Government is taking serious action on climate change to develop climate resilient communities and a prosperous low carbon future.

“Taking climate action is the responsibility of everyone – the State Government, industries, businesses and individuals.

“The 2022-23 State Budget delivers support for Western Australian households to reduce carbon emissions and funds necessary research and planning for State Government agencies to reduce their carbon footprint and support new low carbon jobs and industries, Mr Whitby said

Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said initiatives like METRONET and the two zone cap will encourage more people to take public transport, helping to reduce transport emissions.

“We are also introducing electric buses onto the network through our current electric bus trial in Joondalup,” Ms Saffioti said.

“These new incentives, including electric charging infrastructure at train stations, will help encourage more people to use electric vehicles.”

In line with other states, Western Australia will introduce a distance-based road user charge for zero and low emission light vehicles commencing from July 1, 2027 to ensure all motorists pay their fair share towards the maintenance and construction of Western Australian roads.

A base rate of 2.5 cents per kilometre for electric and hydrogen vehicles and two cents per kilometre for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will apply, with both rates indexed to the Consumer Price Index.

The State Government will invest $200,000 to develop options on systems for monitoring and collecting the future road user charge.

A further $31 million will also be allocated for climate action research and planning to support various initiatives that assist State Government agencies with reducing carbon emissions.

This $31 million includes funding to:

  • Develop and implement strategies to reduce emissions and transition the agriculture, freight and regional heavy transport industries to net zero as part of the Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies
  • Deliver more carbon farming projects on government managed land
  • Develop a Carbon Farming Industry Development Plan
  • Climate risk assessments, reporting and adaptation planning for government agencies
  • Fund specialist research to inform the strategy to transition the Public Transport Authority’s bus fleet to electric vehicles
  • Expand the Western Australian Carbon Dioxide Geological Storage Atlas

Western Australian Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said, “I’m excited to announce that Western Australia’s electric vehicle highway, which will be the longest in the world, will receive eight extra charging stations.

“With stations from Kununurra to Esperance already being delivered, the new stations between Norseman and Eucla will complete the link to South Australia.

“The Western Australian Government is preparing for the rapid uptake in electric vehicles and ensuring that our electricity system remains secure and reliable.”

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