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EV policy in Australia

June 9, 2020 - 5:31 am,

It is easy to think that electric vehicles are here only to save the environment – they are zero emissions, powered by renewables and do not consume fossil fuels. EVs result in cleaner air, less smog, less noise pollution, and more liveable cities. In 2020 – as a result of COVID-19 lockdown measures- we have seen pollution levels drop in major cities across the world. They are here to save the environment. 

But they are not a one trick pony. And if Australia continues to consider them as such, we are at risk of losing them to our climate wars. As the EVC, we ensure that our advocacy to government is holistic and informative about the far-reaching benefits of electric vehicles for our communities and industries: 

  • Fuel security – approximately 90% of our fuel supply is imported. Transitioning to electric vehicles powered by renewables will secure our long-term fuel security
  • Health – each electric vehicle on the road in NSW will save $2,400 in public health costs
  • Economy – potential to capture $297 billion by moving down the lithium supply chain
  • Industryswitching from liquid fuel to electrified transport infrastructure would result in a net increase of 13,400 jobs by 2030
  • Personal finance – annual fuel savings for a private vehicle of $1299.56 per year

A supportive policy environment is necessary to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles in Australia. Our policy recommendations exist to highlight the measures needed to accelerate electric vehicle uptake and achieve their benefits. Our recommendations include: 

  • Fuel efficiency standards 
  • Charging infrastructure investment
  • Government fleet targets
  • Updates to building codes for EV ready provisions
  • EV sales targets
  • Short term tax incentives, like exemptions for EVs from LCT

EV sales numbers in Australia show that we lag the rest of the world in uptake. Conversations with car manufacturers tell us our policy environment is why. 

If there is a limited number of electric vehicles being made, and policy environments to encourage their sales, why would a head office send EVs to Australia? If our Government does not signal that Australia is ready – why would they believe we are? 

New analysis by BNEF 2020 suggests that in the next ten years, automakers will focus their passenger EV efforts on the markets with the most stringent regulations for the next ten years, leading to low rates of EV adoption in the Rest of the World Category.