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$2000 trade in incentive

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8:41 am
July 27, 2010



posts 21

I've been hearing talk about a $2000 incentive the federal government are looking at offering for encouraging people to buy more fuel efficient cars…  …BUT estimates I heard suggest this is comes with a price tag of up to $400 per ton CO2 (I think I heard this on ABC radio, but not sure about its accuracy)

apparently its also funding which was originally destined for sustainable energy development (solar systems?)

a quick search found some info from http://www.centralwesterndaily…..94738.aspx

CAR owners thinking of trading in the old bomb will get a $2000 sweetener under a federal government plan to get more fuel-efficient cars on the road.

Those who trade in a car manufactured before 1995 will be eligible for a $2000 rebate when they purchase a vehicle that has a rating of six or higher in the government’s green vehicle guide.

The scheme will apply to the first 200,000 cars handed in.


With the eligible new or newer cars in the government’s green vehicle guide ranging from $13,000 to $40,000, Mr Grum said the rebate would be out of the reach of many people.

The government says the scheme will result in a reduction in carbon emissions of one million tonnes by 2014.

Will this really help with the whole CO2 savings – has anyone looked into this in more detail? – my feeling is that there are better places to be spending $400Million +


10:38 pm
July 28, 2010



I wonder how much of these incentive schemes are proposed to be seen as doing something about the environment? Is this just a quick fix (following in the U.S.'s footsteps!) that keeps the car manufacturers happy?

My understanding is that it takes about 2 to 3 tonnes of CO2 (on average) to produce (1.5 to 2.25 tonnes) and recycle (0.5 to 0.75 tonnes) a car. If instead a car was converted to electric (regardless of age) then the latter part of theses CO2 emissions would be negligible. Even when the energy sourced to manufacture and recycle cars comes from renewable sources there is (at least in the near future) oil embedded in the transport of these vehicles from manufacturing plants (usually overseas or interstate) and to recycling stations and back to the manufacturing plant. Local conversions would reduce this as well as providing employment in the local area.

I personally think that a $2000 rebate would be good if it is directed towards proper CO2 reductions but if I can trade in a compact pre-1995 car and get a rebate when I buy a larger,  less fuel-efficient vehicle then the whole system is pointless.Embarassed

7:17 am
October 2, 2010



posts 60

I agree with the doubts you both raise. $2000 seems so little to begin with, Iwondered if people would find it worthwhile an incentive, given metals prices are so high at the moment they might as well scrap an old bomb and probably get decent money for the metal alone. If someone is hanging on to a car that old, either they are poor (and unlikely to be looking for a new car purchase to trade-in anyway) or it has sentimental value.

In some cases, it's questionable whether encouraging a new car purchase is necessarily best for the environment, given all the embedded energy involved, compared to purchasing a newer, second hand vehicle. I understood the number of cars to be affected by this policy was miniscule as well ~200,000 nationally, so it sounded populist but ineffectual from an environmental point of view.

If the govt. wants to enforce people purchasing cars that meet lower emissions standards it might have been better to keep raising the bar at periodic registration inspections and gradually phasing cars of a certain vintage out completely within 2 to 5 years say – without this price tag.

I also wonder if there are other measures that continue to be overlooked through the tax system. For example, why is it that so many Australian are purchasing 4WDs these days, when all they are doing is taking a couple of passengers around in urban driving? These cars are huge, heavy, and have features well beyond the needs of city driving. I learnt how to drive 4WD Land Rovers, and used to own a Nissan Ex-Terra, both in conditions that warrant that kind of vehicle. But here, I'm quite happy with my economical little 4 cylinder 2WD. 

Unless one works on a rural property or out bush on a regular basis, the features of 4WDs are largely wasted on city drivers. People who need such features to earn their income eg., farmers, rural workers, parks and wildlife rangers etc should be able to claim a rebate upon such proof via their tax returns, but everyone else should be paying a luxury tax on these cars at time of purchase. The plethora of luxury 4WD I see on Australian roads in recent years seems to signal a car manufacturing industry overservicing a misplaced consumer demand for an image out of proportion to the use of the vehicles – with ramifications for their impact on the environment in manufacture, use and end-of-life disposal. 

9:30 pm
October 2, 2010



posts 456

Post edited 1:02 am – October 4, 2010 by marea

I also share similar concerns about the “cash for clunkers” scheme. It seems to be a copy of similar schemes in other countries such as the US, Germany, and the UK where the schemes were aimed largely at stimulating demand in the auto industries in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Check out the interesting article “Car-Scrapping Plans – Germany's Lessons” about the costs and benefits of such schemes by Jack Ewing on 5 July 2009 in Spiegel Online International.

I also agree with you Quetzal about the Four wheel drives – there seem to remain some perverse tax incentives in relation to such vehicles.

1:30 am
October 5, 2010

get involved


posts 19

Another relevant aspect mentioned by the Canberra Branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association in a Canberra Times article (8 August 2010) is that the "cash for clunkers" scheme could damage the electric car industry by reducing the number of suitable cars available for conversion. Apparently, most Australian conversions from petrol to battery power use older cars as ''a shell'' to house a new electric motor.

8:36 am
October 5, 2010



posts 60

Marea and Admin. I might also note also there does tend to be a habit for used cars to 'migrate' to less developed countries. I used to see quite a few ex-Japanese, ex-Korean buses, sometimes cars, end up on Indonesian roads, inevitably belching huge amounts of black stuff from their mufflers. Similarly, it was quite common to see ex-US and Canadian vehicles in Latin America. I wouldn't be surprised if a good proportion of our seconds end up in PNG and the Pacific. In our quest to constantly purchase the 'new' are we exporting outdated, perhaps even polluting technologies to countries that can't afford anything better? Are we guilty of double standards?

A friend of mine also pointed out that the newer cars, like mine, use more energy because of all their electronic parts. I was feeling quite chuffed about my research into my car (ranked high in the Green Vehicle Guide), but hadn't thought that such parts are more difficult and costly to service and replace. I really had to think then about responsibility for consuming a car over the long term, including end of life cycle. 

At least it's encouraging to know now that older cars can be converted to electric engines!

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