Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Subsidies bypass electric motorcycles

Several Australian states are now offering subsidies for motorists who buy electric cars, yet none has offered the assistance to riders.

NSW, South Australia and Victoria have a limited-offer $3000 rebate for electric cars under $68,750 while Queensland sets the limit of $58,000 to exclude Teslas.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries motorcycle spokesman Rhys Griffiths says the subsidies do not apply to electric motorcycles and scooters.

However, the states and territories do offer various other incentives such as rego discounts, stamp duty exemptions, T2/T3 lane access that, in some cases, apply to bikes.

Rhys says it is important for states to “get consistency of regulations around electric-powered two-wheelers”.  

“At the moment there is a discrepancy regarding power to weight ratios applied to E motorcycles, in regard to LAMS eligibility,” he says.

Dominic Kavo of Australia’s first electric bike and scooter company, Fonzarelli, says stamp duty exemptions and registration concessions available for EV bikes in various states are “not as widespread as it really should be and states like Victoria have no concessions to speak of regarding EV motos”.

Fonzarelli NKDs electric motorcycle

“We would love to see a lot more incentives for EV riders,” he says. 

“To see them be at least commensurate with EV cars would be a great start but I feel there is also the opportunity to encourage more two-wheelers in many different landscapes as they can reduce congestion as well as emissions in these areas greatly.

“Overall encouraging and creating greater access to EV’s, whether it be monetary benefits, specific EV parking allocations, rebates and any other benefit is a rather necessary measure to help Australia get up to speed with the changing technology and maybe one day become a leader in sustainability.”

Town Page of Australian Electric Moto on the Gold Coast – Australia’s first all-electric-bike dealership – says he is writing to Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to ask why motorcycles and scooters are not included in incentives and what can be done to make them more affordable. 

“At the moment – not only do we not get incentives – we also get stung 5% customs duty on imported electric motorcycles and scooters – plus all the other costs involved in getting them here.

“Some States are doing subsidised charging units at home and work – like NSW. 

“There are also some lower stamp duty prices for electric motorcycles/scooters in some states – but most aren’t even setup for electric motors. 

“You are asked how many cylinders/CC your bike is when you go to register it. Most service teams just register it as a 125cc or low capacity bike.”

However, Rhys says “we are kidding ourselves if we expect any simplification of licensing just because you ride an electric-powered vehicle.”

Incentives electric bike importers and manufacturers would like to see include a subsidy on the price, free parking, priority lane access and reduced stamp duty, customs duty and registration fees.

The Australian Motorcycle Council is meeting tomorrow and will discuss their strategy on electric bike incentives.

While there is a growing list of electric cars being imported to Australia, there remain very few electric bikes available in our market.

Several motorcycle and scooter importers have access to electric models overseas, but are not importing them because of the lack of incentives and infrastructure.

Electric scooters are the biggest volume of electric bike sales in Australia, but scooters represent only 5% of the overall market.  

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