Australia’s ACT Greens leader campaigns for removal of 5% e-Bike tariff

The leader of the ACT Greens, Shane Rattenbury, has publicly called for the removal of trading tariffs on electric bike imports, arguing that added cost will reduce uptake in Australia.

The Climate Change minister has penned a letter to Angus Taylor, the Assistant Home Affairs Minister suggesting that removal of the five per cent tariff would stimulate sales.

Speaking to the Canberra Times, Rattenbury outlined: “While I understand the intent of the tariff, and the desire to support local manufacturing, I am concerned that this tariff will introduce another obstacle to the increased take up of cycling and active travel.

“I expect the tariff to result in an increase in the cost of e-bikes, as the vast majority of them are currently imported, and many from countries impacted by the tariff.”

At present Australia imposes the 5% tariff in a bid to shield domestic electric bike producers, though a duty concession has previously been available on bikes imported under any of Australia’s free trade agreements in the absence of domestic manufacturers.

In the UK a recent Parliamentary meet on the subject of stimulating electric bike uptake briefly touched on the very same topic, yet as our Editor recaps, allowed productive discussion to fizzle out and centre on altering a £1,000 ceiling on cycle to work sales, which is seen as a measure that would have perhaps limited benefits to many in the cycling industry.

Tariffs on electric bikes are furthermore the subject of a case submitted to the European Commission by the European Bicycle Manufacturer’s Association alleging harm by the “dumping” of cheaper Chinese produced bikes. Bafang, among others, are fiercely defending China’s role claiming that the competition is fair.

Would the removal of tariffs stimulate the growth of the electric bike market in your home territory, or perhaps it would harm domestic bike makers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.