The ACT is offering interest-free loans for electric cars to boost uptake. 

New loans have been announced under the ACT government’s sustainable household scheme, which provides interest-free funding for solar panels, battery storage technology and other sustainable equipment. 

Electric vehicles have now been added to the program.

Anyone with a valid ACT driving licence or who owns a home in the territory is eligible for 10-year zero-interest loans of up to $15,000. 

The territory is also offering a stamp duty exemption for new electric vehicle purchases.

ACT minister for water, energy and emissions reduction, Shane Rattenbury, says the territory is embracing the transition to electric cars.

“The key message here for the external audience is for automakers to say – look at Canberra, get the vehicles into the ACT,” he said this week.

“We’ve got a keen market here. We know people want to purchase these vehicles. We need to see more models at lower prices.”

Mr Rattenbury says states and territories are being pushed into action because the federal government “has not been strong supporters of EVs”.

“Nationally, we do have a problem,” Mr Rattenbury said. 

“When you talk to the automakers, they’re hesitant to bring vehicles to Australia because they’re unclear about government policy.”

A small number of electric vehicle suppliers are currently participating in the scheme, but more are expected to be added over time.

Research by energy company AGL has found that the average cost of running an electric vehicle is $1,346 cheaper per year than running a petrol car, depending on location and whether solar panels are used to charge.