Adelaide's lord mayor has called on the federal government to develop a national policy and incentives to encourage the importation and sale of electric cars.
Martin Haese says electric vehicles could be exempted from the luxury car tax and the GST, while other incentives or direct subsidies could be considered to boost sales and reduce the total level of vehicle emissions.
"Adelaide is taking a lead role in addressing climate change by looking at ways to reduce carbon emissions and toxic fumes from the exhaust of combustion motor vehicles," he said on Monday.
"Some 40 per cent of carbon emissions in the city are related to vehicles and a move toward the electric and hybrid vehicles will help to reduce this."
In a motion to the Australian Local Government Association general assembly in Canberra, Mr Haese also called for a federal registration scheme for electric vehicles to encourage a national approach to rules and regulations that govern their use.
He said a consistent approach to registering and collecting information on electric and hybrid vehicles might also reduce red tape and help boost demand.
"Action by the federal government in conjunction with the states and territories could have a profound, positive impact on increasing the level of electric and hybrid vehicles sales," the mayor said.
Of the 1.2 million vehicles sold in Australia last year only 0.2 per cent were electric cars.