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Electric vehicle fleets incentive FAQs

Drive electric NSW EV fleets incentive FAQs

The below information supports the Round 2 EV fleets incentive guidelines and bidding checklist. Both documents should be read before accessing the online bidding platform and placing a bid.

Eligibility

Is there any restriction on the size of my fleet?

Individual fleets must currently operate at least 10 vehicles to bid for the incentive. 

Customers that receive funding via successful aggregators do not need to have a minimum number of vehicles in their fleets.

There is no maximum size for individual fleets or the customers of aggregators.

My organisation has several sites in New South Wales that are managed by separate fleet managers. Can we each bid for funding?

Each eligible organisation will be required to provide their ABN. The bidding platform will accept only one bid per registered ABN, per bidding stream.

This means that if an organisation has multiple sites, but only one ABN, it will need to collate all the vehicles requested across the various sites in one bid. 

Please see question 10 regarding placing a bid in both the individual fleet and aggregator streams.

If successful in a previous round, can my organisation apply for future rounds to obtain the incentive on additional vehicles? 

Yes, you can participate in as many rounds as you wish. There are currently no limitations to how many rounds you can participate in.

Can battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) procured with incentive funding be used interstate?

Occasional trips in other states are acceptable as long as the incentivised vehicles are registered, based, and used predominantly in NSW. 

Can the BEVs/FCEVs be used for personal use?

The incentive is aimed at supporting businesses to transition their fleets to BEVs/FCEVs, and is therefore only targeting vehicles that exclusively or primarily support business operations.

However, it is understood that fleet vehicles are also used for secondary personal reasons, especially if home garaged, e.g. commuting from/to work. 

I’m an aggregator and lease vehicles to NSW Government agencies. Can I bid for incentives to support leasing arrangements for NSW Government agencies?

No, NSW Government fleet vehicles are not eligible under the incentive. The electrification of NSW State Government fleet vehicles is being managed through a separate initiative.  More details on the NSW Government fleet electrification strategy is available here.

I would like to be an aggregator, gain a government incentive and on-sell vehicles to fleets at a discount. Is this possible? 

No. The aggregator stream is only available to organisations that offer leasing arrangements to their customers. Aggregators have to demonstrate their past leasing experience at registration. 

How would new business models like car subscription companies be classified? Individual fleets or aggregators? 

In Round 1, car subscription companies were not eligible to participate in the incentive.

However, car subscription companies are now eligible under the individual fleet stream in Round 2, and should select the individual fleet stream when registering if they wish to participate in the individual fleet stream. 

Bidding process

Is there a minimum or maximum number of BEVs/FCEVs I can bid for?   

No, there is no minimum or maximum number of BEVs that must be bid for. You are required to maintain a minimum of 10 vehicles within your current fleet, for eligibility purposes.

Can I bid in both streams?

If you provide fleet leasing services to customers, and also operate a fleet of at least 10 vehicles for your business purposes, you can bid under both streams.

The individual fleet stream gives applicants the opportunity to add BEVs/FCEVs to their organisation’s fleet, while the aggregator stream allows applicants to procure BEVs/FCEVs to lease to their customers. 

What can be funded and what cannot be funded

Why are heavy commercial vehicles excluded from the incentive?

The incentive has been designed to encourage passenger and light commercial BEV/FCEV uptake, due to greater model availability, and compatibility with public charging infrastructure currently available.

Is there any plan to expand the incentive to commercial vehicles, including medium and heavy vehicles? 

The focus of the incentive is on available passenger and light commercial vehicles to help improve the EV market and spur second-hand demand. Medium and heavy vehicles may be considered in future rounds, pending model availability, review of previous rounds and policy decisions.

In Round 1, the 3.5 tonne limit on LCVs was decided after review of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries segmentation criteria.

Following feedback received from fleets and OEMs, for Round 2, LCVs are now defined as having a gross vehicle mass of up to 4.5 tonnes, instead of 3.5 tonnes. This change has been made to reflect fleets’ operational requirements.

Why is there a price cap on BEV/FCEV passenger vehicles and sports utility vehicles (SUVs), but not light commercial vehicles (LCVs)?

Price caps are introduced to limit the use of the incentive to buy luxury vehicles. It also encourages original equipment manufacturers to prioritise bringing more affordable BEVs/FCEVs to NSW and Australia, helping to increase market options.

The RRP price cap on passenger vehicles and SUVs is $100,000 (including GST). 

However, exemptions can be granted to the RRP price cap if the vehicle is required for a fleet’s business operation, and there is no alternate model that is fit-for-purpose.

Exemptions will be reviewed by the Office of Energy and Climate Change (the Office), and will require justification and evidence as to why an exemption is required.

Most LCV products fulfill the special purpose or fit-for-function criteria, and LCV products do not typically include prestige or luxury options.  Encouraging new LCV models into NSW is a priority.

As such, there is no price cap on LCV models.

Can I bid for model variants? E.g. Tesla Model 3 (Standard or Long Range) or Hyundai Kona (Elite or Highlander). 

Yes, fleet managers can bid for any models and variants, so long as they fall within the price cap.

Why are hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) ineligible replacements under the incentive?

The NSW Government has set an ambitious target to deliver a 50 percent cut in emissions by 2030. Although both HEVs and PHEVs incorporate electric motors, they still produce tailpipe emissions, whereas BEVs/FCEVs do not. 

Are fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) eligible replacements?

Yes. This is because most FCEVs produce no emissions, instead powering the motor using oxygen and compressed hydrogen. 

Hydrogen is an emerging renewable fuel; the establishment of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy is set to attract more than $80 billion of investment and create a green hydrogen refuelling station network across the state. 

Will the incentive cover the installation costs of my smart chargers?

No, the incentive will cover some of the cost of purchasing smart charging equipment (up to $400 per vehicle for successful bidders), but not installation.

Why will you only help to fund smart chargers?

Smart (networked) chargers ensure optimal use of the electricity required to charge BEVs as well as help manage electricity usage in buildings and the electricity grid.

Smart chargers can monitor electricity demand and usage remotely, plan how much electricity to send to a vehicle and schedule charging for off-peak times. This can reduce peak demand on the electricity grid, and can help save money. 

You should select chargers from the Electric Vehicle Council approved hardware list here, or equivalent chargers that meet the same minimum specifications.

Can I replace a HEV or PHEV vehicle with a BEV/FCEV or can I only replace internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs)? 

Yes, you can replace hybrids, plug-ins and internal combustion vehicles with BEVs/FCEVs. 

Total cost of ownership and bidding windows

Why are you using total cost of ownership (TCO) calculations?

TCO calculations help fleet managers make informed decisions around the BEVs/FCEVs they wish to procure, as they require consideration of all the factors that will contribute to the cost of a BEV/FCEV over its lifetime.

Consideration of TCO is often not familiar for organisations that have only managed petrol or diesel vehicles previously.

BEVs/FCEVs generate savings over their lifetime due to lower maintenance costs, so comparing only the difference in the upfront price is financially  misleading.

Having fleet managers compare the TCO of a BEV/FCEV against a petrol / diesel equivalent allows them to calculate what the actual funding gap is over a fixed period of time (known as the TCO gap), and budget how much government incentive they need to make the business case viable. 

Why isn’t the government funding the full TCO gap?

Co-funding is a key principle supported by NSW Government in the provision of incentives to promote new technologies.

We expect successful applicants to also contribute to bridge the gap in funding new technology investment, such as electric cars which are the focus of this incentive.   

However, the fleet manager can apply for an incentive covering the full gap if the TCO gap is less than $3,000. 

Why is the TCO term capped at 4 years under the individual fleet stream?

The 4 year TCO term figure is based on average ownership terms for fleet vehicles.

In Round 1, the TCO term was fixed at 4 years.

In Round 2, it is capped at 4 years, but shorter terms can be selected (for example, 1 or 2 years).

This reflects the fact that individual fleet managers have different business models, and some fleets retain vehicles for shorter lengths of time.

What happens if I calculate a negative TCO gap? In other words, if the total cost of ownership of my chosen BEV/FCEV is better than the vehicle I would otherwise have purchased?

The incentive is aimed at providing funding when there is a shortfall when purchasing a BEV/FCEV over another vehicle.

If the calculation produces a negative TCO gap, no incentive is required to support the business case, and therefore the vehicle cannot be incentivised (and is therefore also not eligible to receive funds towards smart base charging equipment). 

Can I change my TCO after receiving my initial bid results/ranking?

No, fleet managers can only change the requested level of incentive, delete a vehicle, or include a new vehicle. The TCO and assumptions behind it cannot be altered at this stage in the process.

Can I increase the requested level of incentive after receiving my initial bid results? Or can I only decrease it?

Fleet managers can either increase or decrease the requested level of incentive in the final bidding window.

Why is the ceiling on the average incentive per vehicle not disclosed? 

This is to ensure increased competitiveness between bids, and to ensure fleet managers only bid for a level of incentive required to make the procurement of BEVs/FCEVs viable for them.

Some EV manufacturers have no scheduled maintenance over the first few years. How does this fit with the ranking metric?

This has been incorporated into the pre-calculated maintenance values on the bidding platform.

If you have different arrangements for your vehicle, you can change the pre-set values in the platform. Remember, you will need to show evidence of any changes to the pre-set values. 

Is fringe benefits tax (FBT) addressed by this incentive?

No. The NSW Electric Vehicle Strategy does not include any action to address FBT, as FBT is a Commonwealth tax. 

Note: Only vehicles used exclusively or primarily for supporting business operations are eligible for the incentive. 

Emissions abatement

Can I boost my emissions abatement via additional means, such as purchasing offsets? 

No, you can only boost emissions abatement by using renewable energy for charging BEVs when garaged. Accepted sources of renewable energy are power purchase agreements, GreenPower, or on-site renewables.  

What constitutes renewable energy? 

The sources of renewable energy that apply to the incentive are the direct purchase of GreenPower, a power purchase agreement, or the use of onsite renewables. 

What happens if an aggregator bids with renewable energy, but their customer does not implement this?

The aggregator will need to provide evidence of implementing renewable energy, and there will be a rigorous verification process as part of the assessment.

Audits may occur to ensure incentives are provided for the intended purpose/application, and that the level of renewable energy claimed at the bidding stage is implemented.

Is there an expectation on what happens to the old internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) that are replaced by EVs?

No. The incentive does not define what should happen to a vehicle replaced by an incentivised BEV/FCEV, for example, scrap or resale.

Vehicles should be scrapped, re-sold or replaced in line with your individual organisational policy. 

Getting help

When will online information sessions be held?

An online information session will be held at the opening of each round. Session details will be posted here. A recording of the session will be made available online for the duration of the round.

Sign up to our e-newsletter to be one of the first to know about future sessions here.

I am stuck in the bidding platform and cannot progress. What should I do? 

Please email electric.vehicles@environment.nsw.gov.au for assistance.

Can I get feedback on my unsuccessful bid? 

Yes. Feedback on how final submitted bids compared to the bidder who ranked first, and what was the average incentive requested per tonne of CO2 equivalent abated ($/tCO2e) can be provided.

Details on whether a fleet submission did not meet the eligibility criteria or lodged all required supporting documentation can also be provided.

However, the office reserves the right to decline to give feedback where considered appropriate.

Receiving payment

If I register just some, but not all the BEVs/FCEVs I have received confirmation of an incentive for, can I get the incentive paid for those I haven’t registered?

No. Payments will be made only for vehicles that have been registered in NSW.

If a fleet manager does not purchase and register the vehicles that are bid for, or purchases a BEV/FCEV but does not register it in NSW, payment for the vehicles not purchased or registered will be withheld, and funds will be reallocated to future bidding rounds. 

What if I am successful, but no longer want to use the funding or procure the BEVs/FCEVs outlined in my bid? 

Successful fleet managers that are no longer interested or able to use the funding are required to notify the office in writing as soon as possible, so funding can be reallocated to future rounds. 

Can I purchase my fleet’s BEVs and smart chargers before signing the funding deed?

Vehicle purchase orders cannot be dated from before the launch of the funding round.

To access the incentive, successful individual fleets and aggregators must sign the funding deed within 15 business days from notification of results.

Purchase orders for successful individual fleets must be submitted after the funding deed execution, and within 40 business days from notification of bid results.

Purchase orders for successful aggregators must be submitted after the funding deed execution, and within 60 business days from notification of bid results.

Proof of purchase of smart base charging equipment must be provided within 180 business days from notification of bid results for both individual fleets and aggregators. 

Can I purchase new BEVs/FCEVs through private imports? 

Yes. You can procure BEVs/FCEVs via your usual procurement channels.

Why will some applicants get different funding for the same or similar BEVs/FCEVs?

Successful applicants will receive the incentive specified in their bid, meaning different applicants may receive different levels of incentive for the same or similar BEVs/FCEVs.

This reflects the fact that not all organisations have the same opportunities to integrate BEVs/FCEVs into their fleets, or need the same level of NSW Government support to do so.  

What if I am unable to secure the vehicle in time due to supply issues (including issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic)?

Fleet managers that cannot secure vehicle(s) within the set timeframes will need to notify the office. 

Extensions to set terms may be granted at the office’s discretion if there is a reasonable cause for delay and adequate evidence is provided. An extension will only be considered for vehicles with a purchase order in place. 

If there are supply limitations, can we use the incentive to procure vehicles on the secondary market?

The incentive can only be used for the procurement of new vehicles. It cannot be used for procurements from the secondary market.

Privacy and confidentiality

My application and registration will include personal information. How does the department manage this information? 

We have legal obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) in relation to the collection, storage, access, use and disclosure of personal information. 

If collecting your personal information, we will provide you with a privacy statement at the time of collection that details how this information will be managed in accordance with privacy law. 

We may publish aggregate information of round results on the Energy Saver website as well as use deidentified bid data in training materials, case studies, evaluations and other portfolio purposes. 

My application and registration will include commercially sensitive information. Will this be kept confidential? 

Information of a confidential nature provided as part of or in connection with any bid, will be treated as commercial-in-confidence information and only disclosed with the consent of the bidding organisation. However, commercial-in-confidence information provided by fleet managers may be disclosed: 

  • to the Minister/the Minister’s Office 
  • to department staff 
  • to relevant parties for auditing purposes 
  • where authorised or required by law to be disclosed. 

Please contact electric.vehicles@environment.nsw.gov.au if you have further questions about the incentive.

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