Plug for elec­tric tax help

Tax breaks could help green cars, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

THE man who wants to put plug-in elec­tric cars in Aus­tralian garages reck­ons buy­ers need in­cen­tives. Mit­subishi Motors Aus­tralia boss Robert McEniry is urg­ing fed­eral and state gov­ern­ments to back all-elec­tric cars, which are al­ready in use in many coun­tries.

McEniry’s views have gained some sup­port from the car in­dus­try’s peak body, the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries.

The cham­ber’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, An­drew McKel­lar, says the elec­tric ve­hi­cle ques­tion ‘‘is clearly on our agenda’’ but shies away from pro­mot­ing any tax in­cen­tives for buy­ers.

‘‘We’d much pre­fer to see the mar­ket­place dic­tate how th­ese cars go,’’ he says.

McKel­lar says elec­tric ve­hi­cles face hur­dles in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, and be­lieves green tax in­cen­tives and park­ing in­cen­tives would ac­cel­er­ate buyer in­ter­est.

Next month Mit­subishi Aus­tralia will bring in two plug-in i-MIEV cars for eval­u­a­tion, and Subaru is also show­ing one of its elec­tric cars.

McEniry says the com­pany wants to be a leader with zero-emis­sion cars.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple are talk­ing about them but we want to take a lead­er­ship po­si­tion with this new tech­nol­ogy,’’ he says.

Mit­subishi Aus­tralia has wasted lit­tle time in se­cur­ing the all-elec­tric i-MIEV four-seater for eval­u­a­tion. The car is due to go on sale in Ja­pan soon, and lo­cally as early as next year. It is likely to cost more than $25,000.

Subaru is also test­ing the lo­cal mar­ket, bring­ing in the Stella EV car in for ap­praisal be­fore the Mel­bourne Mo­tor Show.

McEniry says the i-MIEV will be shown to state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments and green com­pa­nies, and it will be part of Mit­subishi’s Mel­bourne Mo­tor Show dis­play, which starts on Fe­bru­ary 27.

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