[UPDATE, June 29, 2021: A New South Wales Treasury spokesperson told RideApart the following: 

"Policy details around rebates are still under development. More information around eligibility and how to apply will be available in the coming weeks.

Please refer to https://www.nsw.gov.au/initiative/nsw-governments-electric-vehicle-strategy for updates."

So, official word on electric motorcycles is not yet known. If you're in New South Wales, you may want to keep an eye on developments as they arise.]

Original piece follows.

In June, 2021, the Australian state of New South Wales announced an ambitious plan to encourage people to switch to electric vehicles. The plan includes, among other things, millions of dollars for the expansion of fast-charging infrastructure, as well as some tax cuts. There’s also a sweet EV rebate if you’re one of the first 25,000 battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle purchasers whose vehicle costs below $68,750. 

Sounds like the state is working to promote a robust electric vehicle ecosystem, right? There is, as always, a bit more to the story. If you’ve been paying attention to Australian electric vehicle policy for any reason, you may already have heard about the state of Victoria’s recently announced per-kilometer road use fee for EVs.  

That policy, which goes into effect in July, 2021, will see all EVs in Victoria pay a flat fee of 2.5 cents per kilometer. Proponents say this will help recoup the fuel excise tax those vehicles will not be paying. However, some critics have argued that this is among the worst governmental EV policies seen so far, and seems as though it’s meant to dissuade people from making the switch. There’s also a conversation to be had about road use of two-wheelers versus much heavier vehicles like cars and trucks, but we’ll save that for another day. 

New South Wales, on the other hand, also plans to implement a similar road use tax for EVs. However, with the introduction of this new EV policy, it’s delaying that implementation for a time. How long? Well, that depends. According to the plan as currently written, it will take effect on July 1, 2027—or when EVs make up 30 percent of all new vehicle sales in the state, whichever comes first.  

As for the tax incentive, the NSW government will also remove stamp duty fees from EVs priced under $78,000, as of September 1, 2021. All other EVs and plug-in hybrids will follow from July 1, 2027, or when new EV sales hit that 30 percent number, whichever comes first. NSW is among the first Australian states to announce an EV policy like this, so it’s likely that other states will be watching closely to see how this plan plays out.  

So, where do electric motorcycles fall within this policy? The folks at Motorbike Writer say that motorcycles are not included in the rebate scheme. Given that electric scooters can be relatively inexpensive, while electric motorcycles are mostly much more expensive in 2021, perhaps a flat $3,000 rebate isn’t ideal. However, if that’s true, completely cutting two-wheelers out of the equation seems short-sighted at best.  

The NSW Government page about the new policy states that “Anyone who is purchasing a new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for less than $68,750 (including GST) will be eligible to apply for a $3,000 rebate.” No mention is made about what number of wheels are required for an electric vehicle to qualify, nor are motorcycles specifically excluded in the current language posted. RideApart has reached out to the NSW Government to ask for clarification, and we’ll report back if and when we get it. 

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