Researchers from Monash Business School and Griffith University are encouraging the Australian Government to review taxation law to support the affordability of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
Dr Diane Kraal from Monash and Dr Anna Mortimore from Griffith have received a $220,000 grant to find out if tax breaks could resolve the lack of home-charging infrastructure and reduce vehicle cost.
These are seen as the top barriers to the widespread adoption of battery electric vehicles (known as BEVs) for business fleets in Australia.
Amending the tax system could increase uptake
It follows the Federal Government allocating $25-million to drive electric vehicle uptake with a ‘technology not taxes’ approach.
Drs Kraal and Mortimore are researching how the transition to emissions reduction should be facilitated by the Australian taxation system, together with advancements in technology.
Transport is responsible for nearly a fifth of Australia’s total CO2 emissions. Transforming business fleets to comprise clean energy vehicles would be a huge step forward in national emissions reduction, Dr Kraal says.
“In 2020, Australian business fleets acquired mostly petrol and diesel vehicles, resulting in the sector producing weighted-average CO2 emissions [that were] 41 percent higher than Europe in 2018,” she explained.
Focusing on fleet vehicles has greater impact
“Given business fleets make up the majority of passenger and light commercial cars on the road, we feel there’s greater impact in focusing on fleet vehicles.”
Dr Mortimore added: “Accelerating the uptake of BEVs by business will not only allow fleet employees to experience driving and charging fleet BEVs without having to own one, but it will also contribute to the supply of more affordable BEV’s to private consumers when ex-fleet BEVs are rolled over to the secondhand market.”
The research project will look at how taxation support is the key to exponentially increasing BEVs in fleets. As part of this, the researchers will examine the increased takeup of BEVs in fleets overseas and why Australia is lagging behind many of its peer countries in this regard.
“Currently, BEV technology is not affordable in Australia and workplace charging infrastructure is either low or non-existent. Our project will investigate the barriers to business fleets’ uptake of BEVs through taxation changes and incentives that will address affordability and enable fleet employees to charge their BEVs at home,” Dr Mortimore stated.