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.

Lender

FixedNew1 yearMore details
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  • Save the planet. Save thousands on your car loan.
  • Get a discounted rate if you buy electric
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
FixedNew, Used7 yearsMore details

Hybrid and Electric Car Loan

    VariableNew99 yearsMore details

    Green Car Loan

      VariableNew99 yearsMore details

      Electric Vehicle Loan-New Car Loan

        FixedNew, Used3 yearsMore details

        Green Fixed Rate Car Loan

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          The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans for the relevant amounts and terms are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for unsecured personal loans are applicable for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

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          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