After copping flak for its move to introduce a road user tax on electric vehicles the Victorian Government has unveiled a $100 million package to encourage people to buy them.
The package includes a $3000 subsidy for the purchase of 20,000 new zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
As well, part of the funding will be used to improve charging infrastructure and increase the number of all-electric vehicles in government and commercial fleets.
The Victorian government has also introduced a 2030 target for all new car sales to be ZEVs.
A total $19 million will be spent adding at least 50 new fast-charging stations on major highways, at key tourist attractions and locations across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
The government will also invest $10 million to add ZEVs to the government fleet, starting with 400 vehicles in the next two years.
A $5 million innovation fund will work to support the uptake of ZEVs in the commercial sector.
A government spokesman said the $100 million package had been made possible by the planned zero and low-emissions road user charge from July that would ensure all road users contributed to the upkeep of the state's roads.
"Our transport sector is a significant contributor to our emissions. This package of reforms makes cars the vehicle for change by getting more zero emissions vehicles on our roads," Victoria's Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio said.
Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) chief executive Behyad Jafari welcomed the package.
"This is exactly the kind of momentum we need in Australia if we want to join the rest of the world in embracing the transition to electric vehicles," Mr Jafari said.
"Only 0.1 per cent of Victorian cars are currently electric. The subsidies announced could help drive that figure up sharply and put a huge dent in Victoria's carbon emissions."
"Reaching a target of 50 per cent electric vehicle sales by 2030 is a positive and reasonable target."
The peak national automotive body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), also welcomed the Victorian government's move to support the purchase of more electric vehicles.
"We have worked closely with the Victorian government to find a holistic approach to increasing the uptake of electric vehicles through specific investments and climate targets," FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said.
"However, the FCAI has concerns over the ambitious target of 50pc of new vehicle sales in Victoria being electric vehicles by 2030," he said.
The FCAI believed governments should focus on carbon emissions targets rather than mandating specific technologies, he said.
"If governments set the targets, the car makers will deliver the range of vehicles into the market that achieve environmental outcomes and meet the needs of Australian motorists."
Mr Weber said the actions by the Victorian government highlighted that the federal government risked missing an opportunity to provide leadership and policy direction on the increased take up of zero and low emissions vehicles (ZLEVs).
"The FCAI has consistently advocated for a national approach to these issues that ideally would be federally-led to avoid the prospect of individual state governments introducing their own standards and incentive programs in support of ZLEVs."