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National EV strategy: Government releases consultation document

The federal government today released a promised consultation designed to shape the first, long-awaited country National electric vehicle strategy.

The overarching goal is to increase EV consumption in Australia – which is low compared to other economically comparable countries – by encouraging carmakers to move more towards the supply of low-emission vehicles. for the local market, through new fuel economy standards.

But the paper also wanted to find out how policy settings could encourage domestic production of electric vehicles, chargers and other components; address the effects of reduced excise fuel sales, which may occur through tolls; and support the implementation of the charging infrastructure.

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While all Australian States and Territories With various EV incentive plans in place, including the availability of cash rebates and tax cuts, the federal government has identified a lack of “coordination and alignment at the national level” that they think needs to be fixed.

Core goals can be broadly defined as:

  • Making electric vehicles more affordable
  • Expanding EV . absorption and selection
  • Reduce emissions
  • Save Australians money on fuel
  • Increasing Australian production

In a joint statement, Energy and Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Catherine King said: “All Australians are encouraged to speak out about how we can transform. Australia’s transport sector”.

The entire consultation is 18 pages long, which you can read hereEntries will be accepted until October 31.

Why is there a clear need for a national EV strategy?

The current government has committed to cutting Australia’s overall emissions by 43 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. As road transport accounts for around 16 per cent of total emissions, This is an important area.

Electric vehicle market penetration was around 2% in Australia last year, lower than in Europe, the US or China. But sales are picking up here, with August’s new car sales showing an electric car market share of 4.4% – a new record.

An ongoing problem, however, is a lack of EV supply, with many car brands and industry bodies blaming much of this on a lack of fuel economy standards – something most car brands have found. Other wealthy nations are affected, with other notable exceptions including the Russian state of pariah.

Countless car manufacturers in Australia, such as the Volkswagen Groupsaid its headquarters wanted to send supply-constrained electric vehicles to areas where they were fined for exceeding the average CO2 levels in their fleet, leaving Australia in a dumping ground for tech older.

This is considered the main reason why so many EV models either don’t come here, are on long waiting lists, or are sold in so few quantities that it doesn’t make a difference in emissions reductions.

Potential opportunities from transportation electrification

“This transformation presents enormous opportunities for Australia. Australia has the potential for mineral resources, capital and skills to support this work,” said the advisory article, referring to our rich minerals such as lithium, crucial for EV batteries. .

Listed value-adding opportunities include Australian production of EV batteries and other components for export, rather than just digging things out of the ground and taking them on board.

Examples of companies that have done this include DC charger manufacturer Tritiumelectric truck manufacturer SEA Electricand Nissan Australia, foundry EV components in Melbourne.

The article also cites health benefits, as greater adoption of electric vehicles can reduce air pollution.

“Air pollution from vehicle exhaust can cause more deaths than national road tolls. It has also been linked to health conditions including respiratory disease, cancer and dementia,” the paper said.

The article also mentions the need to enhance the country’s fuel security by being less dependent on imported petroleum.

Key quote

Minister Chris Bowen and Catherine King

Minister Bowen and King said: “It is time for Australian households and businesses to reap the benefits of cheaper, low-emissions transportation tailored to the 21st century.”

“This consultation paper provides an opportunity for all Australians to have a voice on the National Electric Vehicle Strategy to increase the supply and use of electric vehicles.

“… Today, Australians are being sold some of the highest emitting cars in the world. On average, new passenger vehicles in Australia have about 20% higher emissions than the US and about 40% higher emissions than in Europe.

“We need to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to traffic emissions.

“And while any standard must be designed specifically for Australia, standards lacking ambition will still leave Australians behind in global queues for cheaper, cleaner vehicles. We need to aim as close to the best approach as possible. “

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry CEO Tony Weber

Mr Weber said: “The road to the best outcomes for Australia is complex and the discussion paper raises many of these issues.

“There are many key issues that need to be considered in this review. These include vehicle pricing, model availability, battery supplies, and providing further consumer support through charging infrastructure development and purchase incentives. “

“This paper is an encouraging starting point. Carmakers look forward to working with the Government to create an ambitious yet achievable policy framework for both Australian carmakers and consumers.”

Director of the Electric Vehicle Council Behyad Jafari

“It was a breath of fresh air to see a federal government take this matter seriously, acting on national policy in the first months of its administration,” Jafari said.

“The discussion paper is right to focus on supply and demand as necessary first steps towards building a dynamic EV industry in the country.

“Australia can absolutely be an electric vehicle powerhouse, using Australians to build products right up the EV supply chain. But we won’t realize those opportunities while our standards fall behind the rest of the world.

“The most pressing next step in this process is a strong fuel efficiency benchmark that reflects best practice.

“The unfortunate truth is that so far, Australia has lagged behind the world in terms of electric vehicle policy. Russia is the only developed country that does not have suitable fuel economy standards. We were at the end of the global queue for new vehicles.

“But with the right policy settings, we can get it right and speed it up.”

The entire consultation is 18 pages long, which you can read hereEntries will be accepted until October 31.

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