Tax incentives, import subsidies and/or charging infrastructure are needed for Australia to catch up with the rest of the world on low-emissions vehicles, says BMW Group Australia boss Marc Werner.
“I call on Mr Turnbull and the Federal Government to action a robust policy to import low-emission vehicles,” he says.
While his comments mainly concern their electric and hybrid cars, BMW also has electric maxi-scooters which are not yet sold in Australia. They are also planning more with the unveiling last year of the eRR electric superbike concept.
Low emissions line-up
“We have a strong low-emissions product line-up,” Marc says.
“We are notably the leading premium manufacturer in alternative drivetrain technology, but now we are in a position to push it from a product offering perspective.
“We’ve been very active in lobbying to promote low-emissions vehicle technology.”
Marc points out that the German government recently announced cash incentives for low-emissions vehicle purchases that have sparked sales interest.
“But it needs to go hand in hand with infrastructure,” Marc says.
“Australia has a big challenge there with a big stretch between cities. NZ is definitely the front runner in the roll-out of charging infrastructure. We can learn from that.”
But that doesn’t mean the C evolution electric version of the C650 maxi scooter will be coming to Australia anytime soon.
BMW Motorrad Australia GM Andreas Lundgren says the business case in Australia “does not stack up yet”.
Consumer cash carrots could change all that.
The UK Government is providing a £1500 ($2400) subsidy on the price of electric motorcycles and scooters to encourage uptake.
Subsidies for electric and hybrid cars are provided by most European countries, Asian nations, Canada and most American states. Only California so far includes motorcycles.
Meanwhile, the Australian Government has refused to offer subsidies on any electric vehicle.
In fact, the Luxury Car Tax acts as a disincentive since many electric or hybrid vehicles cost more than the price threshold.