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NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has warned that Australia risks becoming the "dumping ground" for the cars the rest of the world doesn't want, as he announced new financial incentives to encourage take-up of electric cars.
The NSW government will spend $105 million on incentives for ride share companies and other car fleet operators to buy electric cars in an attempt to build a market for the more environmentally-friendly product, Treasurer and Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean announced on Wednesday.
Mr Kean used the occasion to urge the federal government to do more, the day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his support for a transition to electric cars with a $178 million infrastructure spend.
"This is a revolution that is coming whether (Deputy Prime Minister) Barnaby Joyce likes it or not," Mr Kean said.
"The reality is that the right-hand car market is changing to electric.
"The last thing we want is for Australia to become a dumping ground for the vehicles that the rest of the world doesn't want."
Under the new policy, the NSW government will cover the difference in price between electric cars and a combustion engine cars for businesses that buy more than 10 electric vehicles at a time from November 30.
The incentives will be delivered through a reverse auction process.
The government hopes fleet operators - who account for half of new car sales in the state - will then recycle their fleets every three or four years, creating a second-hand market for regular Australians.
Uber's general manager of rides, Dominic Taylor, said the announcement was a clear incentive for rental companies servicing the rideshare markets to buy electric vehicles.
"Next time you order an Uber I hope that it's an electric car turning up to pick you up," Mr Taylor said.
The state government has previously announced a $490 million program to drive uptake of electric vehicles, including stamp duty exemptions and rebates.
The strategy includes waiving stamp duty for electric cars priced under $78,000 purchased after September.
That policy was delayed as COVID-19 lockdowns shut politicians out of parliament and prevented them legislating the reform - but will now be applied retroactively.
Mr Kean on Wednesday said his state had the "biggest and boldest electric vehicle policy in the country".
Asked on ABC Tv whether the Commonwealth could do more, he said NSW was spending almost as much as the federal government is spending in NSW to support new infrastructure for electric cars.
"We are spending $600 million to ensure that NSW consumers can enjoy all the benefits that this new technology has to offer," he said.
"Compare that to the Commonwealth who are spending $250 million across the entire country. So the proof is in the pudding."
In a veiled dig at Mr Morrison's 2019 comments that electric cars would ruin the weekend, Mr Kean said they would "revolutionise the weekend ... they are going to revolutionise every day of the week."