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 Policy Discussion
 Issue GC1: Hybrids are cost prohibitive for most Australians
The Toyota Prius is approx 48k AUD in Australia however it retails for only 21k USD in USA. For the most part current pricing makes the Prius too expensive for most Australians. Unfortunately most Australians will be unable to choose a green car because it is far too expensive to do so.
With the exception of importation of personal vehicles driven overseas for greater than one year, the current federal Specialist Enthusiast Vehicle (SEV) import policy does not allow any vehicle models that are already sold here new to be imported second hand.
Proposed Change or Question
In an effort to reduce Australian emissions and get more LEV and ZEV vehicles on the road, can we modify the SEV import policy to allow late model used Hybrid and Electric vehicles to be imported? (Regardless of whether or not that model is sold new in Australia)
1. Approximate 115% Price Difference between USA and Australia as of June 2008:
- Toyota Prius Price in USA: Prius is $21,500 USD ($22,600 AUD)
- Toyota Price in Australia: [http://www.toyota.com.au/ Prius is $48,500 AUD
It currently costs 115% more to buy a Toyota Prius in Australia.
2. Low cost, Low KM 2003-2007 Toyota Prius's available from Japan for between 12k-25k (landed in Australia).
3. More Hybrid - Exposure, Maintenance, Experimentation, Innovation and Testing
It should also be recognised that Australia is now generally late to the game in terms of readying the auto industry for electric drive vehicles. Bringing more Hybrid vehicles into the country will help us move forward. It will also provide for more experimentation with plug-in conversions, green recharging approaches and emerging battery technologies like the lead acid Firefly battery.
4. A low cost way, low effort means of reducing transport emissions in the short term.