ACT Government offers free rego, interest-free loans for electric vehicles and appliances

author-avatar By on January 22, 2021
ACT Government offers free rego, interest-free loans for electric vehicles and appliances

The nation's capital has offered large incentives to combat the threat of climate change.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government will offer two years of free registration for zero-emission vehicles from May 2021 to encourage Canberrans to purchase electric vehicles.

They will also offer interest-free loans of up to $15,000 to purchase the vehicles, as well as rooftop solar panels, households battery storage, and efficient electric appliances. 

However, the loans will be means-tested with a cap on people improving already valuable houses. 

In the market for a new green car? The table below features car loans with some of the lowest fixed interest rates on the market.

The $150 million Sustainable Household scheme is part of the ACT Government's 2021 budget, with the incentives the first of their kind in Australia. 

To prevent a rush of untrained operators coming to market, the government is considering introducing an approved list of products and suppliers when the scheme first starts. 

Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury, said the ACT Government had one of the most ambitious agendas for addressing climate change globally, and was committed to supporting Canberrans through the transition. 

“Having declared a climate emergency, we’re doing what it takes to cut greenhouse gas emissions and support the ACT community to withstand the impacts of the climate change we’re already experiencing," Mr Rattenbury said. 

“This budget commits major new investment to help Canberrans live more comfortably and sustainably, tackling the biggest pieces in our emissions puzzle with a focus on phasing out fossil fuel gas and transforming ACT transport to be zero emissions." 

Mr Rattenbury hoped the announcement would encourage Canberrans to go green who had previously been wary. 

"We're aiming for an EV [electric vehicle] revolution over the next decade, with the ACT leading the transition to zero emissions transport," he said. 

"Free registration and no-interest loans for zero emissions vehicles, along with a new network of 50 public charging stations for electric vehicles will make EV’s a real option for Canberrans who may have been hesitant until now." 

The free rego may not just be limited to cars, with the government considering what constitutes an electric vehicle, looking to be flexible moving forward. 

The ACT Government plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, with the 2021 budget planning to invest $307 million over five years to make progress towards that goal. 

It plans to make it easier for households to get a cheaper energy deal by making it mandatory for electricity retailers to provide a reference bill for a typical customer, and to notify customers of cheaper plans. 

Other measures include $5 million to support community clubs to undertake energy efficiency upgrades, and a $50 million fund to improve building efficiency and sustainability for social and public housing.

A spokesperson for the Canberra Liberals said they supported energy efficiency and reducing households bills, but needed to consider the details of the measures. 

"We have concerns about loans being offered to people who are in financially vulnerable positions that may have difficulty in meeting the repayments," he said.

"For those families, other support mechanisms need to be available."

Electric vehicle sales may need a push in 2021, after only 246 more were sold in 2020 than the year prior, compared to 650,000 more petrol vehicles sold in 2020 than 2019. 

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash


The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure,, Performance Drive and are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

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Alex joined as a finance journalist in 2019. He enjoys covering in-depth economical releases and breaking down how they might affect the everyday punter. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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