Free rego promise for electric vehicles

BMW eRR electric sports bike emissions promise

The South Australian Labor Party has issued a promise to improve access to electric motorcycles by waiving vehicle registration and stamp duty on new electric vehicles for five years.

Of course, the promise is reliant on the party retaining power at this year’s state election, although it should be noted that the party has been in government a record 16 years and is seeking a fifth four-year term.

The Australian Government has refused to offer subsidies on any electric vehicle. So it is up to the states to provide incentives.

Victoria provides a $100 rego discount on hybrid and electric vehicles and the ACT waives stamp duty on electric vehicles.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) supports the South Australian Labor Party’s re-election promise and has challenged other governments to follow suit.

FCAI boss Tony Weber says governments have a “significant role to play in encouraging a shift in consumer behaviour”.

Price obstacle

The high price of electric motorcycles has been a major obstacle to their introduction to Australia and their acceptance by riders.

Tim Kelly, spokesman for South Australian rider representative group Ride to Review says the ALP promise  is “definitely a positive”.

With the coming wave of electric motorcycles, including Harley-Davidson’s first model, it is time governments looked at some incentives, such as tax reductions, subsidies, and free tolls and parking.

Harley-Davidson Livewire The Biggest brands to launch the latest Bikes at Moto Expo 2016 50 benefits smaller mindset Revelation promise
Harley-Davidson electric Livewire

Subsidies for electric and hybrid cars are provided by many European countries, Asian nations, Canada and most American states, only California so far includes motorcycles.

The UK Government even provides a £1500 (about $2400) subsidy on the price of electric motorcycles and scooters to encourage their uptake.

Last year, BMW Group Australia boss Marc Werner called for tax incentives, import subsidies and/or charging infrastructure.

BMW eRR electric sports bike
BMW eRR electric concept

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 of the eRR electric superbike concept.


  1. OH please this is such a waste of time with all the fuel saving inventions that have been snatched up and hidden away by fuel company’s and let not forget the high price of making hydrogen for cars and the GM electric car that they took back from customers just to destroy them and that fuel and car company’s buy up the battery manufacturing if it is a threat to their bottom line and now they want free rego and a cash incentive to sell electric bike well i say if you use the road be it on a push bike electric bike motorbike car truck bus you should pay rego

  2. It s a cop out. If they were serious, all motorcycles, or at least under 500cc should be free, if not greatly reduced. With regards to environmental footprint there is allot to sort out. Lithium batteries are virtually non recyclable ( bad for the environment when they die), create heaps of pollution during manufacture and in an accident are nearly impossible to extinguish once on fire (think about that next time you are in a shopping centre). This is probably not the technology needed to make EVs a viable ‘green’ reality.

  3. The author is right about the high price being an obstacle to the take up of electric bikes here. I thought about one last year as a commuter and city run-about, but it remained only a thought when I saw the price. I know people will say that you get that high initial outlay back on lower servicing costs across the lifetime of the vehicle, but I wonder if that is how the manufacturers are pricing these things instead of basing it on the manufacturing and associated costs plus a reasonable profit.

  4. So they are not paying any fuel tax and no registration. How are roads in the future going to be maintained . Electric vehicles need to pay their share to rebuild roads as should all road users.

    Petrol powered motorcycles already pay more than their fair share.

      1. Yes, the federal gubbermint will have to find a way to make the electricity suppliers put an extra tax on electricity that comes out of vehicle charging stations, else people will pay the equivalent of petrol tax on the home electricity bills and the voters will not like that.

      2. I was thinking the same thing. When money-hungry governments start to lose their fuel excise and GST revenue, where are they going to make it up from?

          1. Increase the GST, simple.
            Increase the income tax treshold to the minimum wage, and exclude or discount pensioners.
            Make tax brackets as multiples of the minimum wage thus eliminating bracket creep.

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