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German brand negotiating with all levels of government for zero-emission subsidies.

BMW is searching for subsidies to help make electric car ownership more attractive.

The German car maker will launch its first zero-emission vehicle at the end of this year with its radical i3 city car, and is currently in discussions with all levels of government to try and further reduce running costs.

The company’s local managing director, Phil Horton, told Drive during this week’s launch of the 2-Series Coupe in Tasmania that his team is attempting to negotiate a number of incentives – from a federal government rebate, lower registration fees through state governments, reduced parking fees through local governments and even free travel through privatised toll roads – to reward electric-car buyers.

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“I find it strange there are no incentives for zero emissions cars [in Australia],” he told Drive.

“We’re now talking with all levels of government. We’ve started with the federal government… [and] our initial discussions have actually been more positive that I thought. We have gone very clearly on the environment side of things, where the people we’ve talked to are more aware and atune to the benefits of electric cars.”

BMW is not the first car maker to try and negotiate incentives for electric car ownership in Australia, as Mitsubishi and Nissan have both previously attempted to arrange reduced costs for their respective i-Miev and Leaf electric cars.

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