Australia’s biggest bank is partnering with the country’s most popular electric vehicle manufacturer in a bid to speed up adoption of low-emission cars.
The Commonwealth Bank announced a deal with Tesla on Wednesday, revealing personal and business loans for electric vehicles from the US brand would be offered at a discounted rate on the Tesla website.
The announcement comes after the bank launched discounts for electric and hybrid vehicles, and following a record sales year for the transport technology in Australia.
Commonwealth Bank personal lending general manager Joel Larsen said the partnership was designed to help more Australians “realise the benefits of electric vehicles”.
“We’re seeing really strong demand from customers – almost one in six of our new car loans are now electric,” he said.
“Overwhelmingly, customers are choosing Tesla which is why it makes a lot of sense for us to partner.”
The deal will see Tesla buyers able to apply for a CommBank personal loan as they order a vehicle online.
As with other electric cars, the bank will offer loans at a fixed rate of 5.49 per cent – a discount of up to one per cent on the price of a standard vehicle loan.
Commonwealth Bank asset finance general manager Chris Moldrich said he also expected many loan applications to come from businesses after a study for the bank from East & Partners showed 40 per cent of companies expected to deploy electric and hybrid vehicles in their fleets within 12 months.
“All customers I’m talking to on the business side are interested in what’s happening in electric vehicles, how they can think about the transition, how they can adapt their buildings to charge,” Mr Moldrich said.
“Provided the flow of stock continues to come into the country, I think we’ll continue to see substantial increases on the business side.”
Electric vehicles made up 6.4 per cent of all new cars sold in August, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, with more than 56,000 electric cars sold in Australia this year.
Tesla dominated sales, representing more than 32,000 electric cars sold during 2023.
The brand’s Model Y also ranked as the eighth most popular new vehicle sold during August, though it slipped from fourth position.
The Commonwealth Bank is one of several financial institutions to offer discounts on electric and hybrid vehicle loans, including Westpac, Bank Australia, RACQ, NRMA, Plenti and Bendigo Bank.
Discounted loans are also being offered on electric and plug-in hybrid car loans through Taurus Motor Finance and EV Direct as part of a $20.5 million investment by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation announced in 2022.
The grant was expected to help subsidise more than $100 million in green car loans.
(Australian Associated Press)