Nation leading action to drive zero emissions vehicle uptake in the ACT


Canberrans will have greater access to vehicles that are cheaper to run and better for the environment with a new strategy released today by the ACT Government set to make zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) an affordable option for Canberrans in the years to come. 

Transport currently represents the largest source of emissions for the ACT, making up over 60%.  Of this, 70% is from private car use.  Coupled with rising fuel costs for motorists, this is why we must prioritise our emission reduction efforts in this area. 

Accordingly, the ACT will lead the nation and join other jurisdictions around the world in facilitating a smooth transition to zero emissions vehicles over the coming decade.

With most private vehicle manufacturers already signalling their plans to deliver significantly more ZEVs over the next 5-10 years, the ACT Government strategy sets a new and ambitious target of 80-90% of new light vehicles sales being ZEVs by 2030. 

The strategy also outlines our plan to start phasing out light internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035.

The Government recognises that affordability of ZEVs remains a critical barrier for many people. To address this, we will expand on what are already the most extensive financial incentives in the country.

We will continue our existing financial incentives to reduce some of the cost barriers to purchasing a zero-emission vehicle.   This includes stamp duty waivers, free vehicle registration and no-interest loans of up to $15,000 through the Sustainable Household Scheme (SHS).

In addition, the Government will extend stamp duty waivers for buyers of used electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles purchased from 1 August 2022, cutting the cost of an average second-hand vehicle by around $1,600. 

The Government also recognises that the current fixed registration system is weight based and penalises heavier ZEV models despite their lower emissions.  This will be reformed with the goal of incentivising lower emissions.

The summary of other actions in the Strategy include:

  • $2,000 grants for installation of EV charging infrastructure for apartment buildings
  • expanding the ACT public charging network to at least 180 EV chargers by 2025
  • exclusion of new vehicles powered by fossil-fuels in taxi and ride-share fleets by 2030
  • changes to the Territory Plan to make new builds EV ready and streamlining EV charging application processes for public land
  • continued national advocacy and engagement to expand the national EV charge network and improve vehicle emissions standards
  • continued action to ensure that 100% of all newly leased Government vehicles are ZEVs where fit for purpose and explore opportunities to replace ACT Government heavy fleet vehicles with ZEVs
  • phasing out light internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035
  • aiming for 80-90% of light vehicle sales being zero emissions vehicles by 2030.

The new strategy will ensure the Territory continues as a leader in taking action to address climate change. 

The ACT Government remains committed to continuing work with businesses and the community to deliver a zero-emissions transport future for our city.

For more information on the new strategy, visit

Quotes attributable to Chief Minister and Minister for Climate Action, Andrew Barr:

With technology rapidly evolving, now is the time for the ACT to join other jurisdictions around the world in supporting a transition to ZEVs. The transition is happening rapidly – manufacturers have made that clear.

It’s important now for Australian jurisdictions to start preparing for a future private vehicle market that is predominantly ZEV.

ZEVs are cheaper to run, more sustainable and easier to service.  They are the vehicle of the future and we want to make sure that more Canberrans can access the benefits of ZEV ownership.

We took bold steps over 10 years ago to transform our energy system and today we’re powered by 100% renewable electricity. We are already benefiting from that long-term vision for our city’s future, and this strategy is the next step to ensure we maintain the liveability of the ACT well into the future.

As more people transition to ZEVs, a number of jurisdictions in Australia have announced a road user charge policy, including New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. The ACT is also aware that its current fixed registration system is weight based and penalises heavier ZEV models despite their lower emissions.

Any registration reform in the ACT would necessarily consider both emissions and distance-based charging and ensure zero emissions vehicles were incentivised over high emitting vehicles.

The ACT is actively monitoring developments around Australia and internationally, with the goal of incentivising lower emissions and will investigate the potential for future reforms. 

The principle the ACT Government wants to achieve is that Canberrans will pay less if their transport emissions are lower.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury:

The ACT has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2045. With emissions from transport accounting for around 60% of ACT emissions, the transition to zero emissions vehicles is a key part of our efforts to cut emissions and achieve this goal.

The Strategy establishes a clear direction for the future of transport in the ACT and is designed to make sure the ACT continues to lead and to deliver the best outcomes for the community and local business as we make these changes.

The ACT will have one of the most ambitious ZEV sales targets in the world of 80-90% by 2030. The ACT is once again leading the way on climate action, which is something all Canberrans can be proud of.

This Strategy sets our Territory up, so we can support the investment and the technology innovation when it becomes available, making it easier and more accessible for people to transition to ZEVs at a time that is right for them.

We are also making sure that our network is able to keep up with the increased demand for electric vehicles in line with the ambitious sales targets set out in the strategy. We’ve just ticked over 2000 EV cars registered in the ACT, so we know Canberrans are keen to move towards these new vehicles. 

Importantly, we want to bring the community on this journey, which is why this is a long-term strategy that provides the community and the industry certainty and outlines a clear pathway to reach our goals.