Electronic vehicle targets for Australia must be set

Public news

A Senate report has called for the Federal Government to set a national target for the number of electric vehicles (EVs) in Commonwealth fleets. This is in an effort to boost the uptake of EVs in Australia and bring EV racing to the nation, increasing public and government support for these types of vehicles that will be increasingly seen on our roads in the next ten years.

The writers behind the report have said that Australia is at risk of being left behind the rest of the world.

You can access the senate report by clicking here.

The report recommends that the Federal Government construct a 10 year EV manufacturing ‘roadmap’ and that State Governments as well as the Federal Government should “prioritise the development of a national electric vehicle strategy.”

South Australian Independent Senator, Rex Patrick has made the claim that Australia not only needs the development of an EV policy but that the importation of petrol cars should be halted by 2035 saying, “The world is embracing EVs and we must too. It’s not a question of it’s happening, it’s simply one of when.”

“We need to recognise there is substantial opportunity for Australia, leveraging off the considerable ongoing and residual automotive industry skill and expertise, to become involved in the manufacturing of EVs and EV components in our country.”

EV charging station maker, Tritium’s co-founder Paul Sernia has said that Australia needs stronger direction in regards to EV uptake and policies. Mr Sernia commented on the senate report as well saying, “We need to have some king of policy and strategy at a government level. The fact that government is taking steps to develop this report show interest is happening.”

However, Mr Sernia has a slightly different view from Senator Rex Patrick and said, “I don’t think we have to manufacture electric vehicles in Australia to be successful.”

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) says that both major parties must confront the replacement of fuel excise with a road-user charge, applying this to the growth of electric car uptake. The AAA’s Chief Executive, Michael Bradley has said that a transition by applying a road-user charge to electric vehicles would be equivalent to the fuel excise their owners don’t pay.

According to Deloitte, an extra 21 million EVs will be on the road globally by 2030 and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will significantly outperform the rest of the EV market, accounting for 70 per cent of total EV sales by 2030.

Deloitte UK automotive partner, Michael Woodward says that the tipping point for EVs globally could occur from 2021 but says the biggest issue remains the barriers for consumers taking up this emerging technology. Lower vehicle taxes, government incentives and an expanded charging network must be considered locally in Australia if a faster uptake can occur here.

Speaking about EV uptake globally, Mr Woodward said, “As manufacturers increase their capacity, our projections suggest that supply will vastly outweigh consumer demand by approximately 14 million units over the next decade. This gearing up of EV production is driving a wide ‘expectation gap’ and manufacturers, both incumbent and new entrants a like, will need to adapt towards this new competitive landscape.”

Mr Woodward further explained that vehicle manufacturers and dealers must ensure a positive customer experience from point of sale to aftercare, ultimately ensuring that consumers can have faith their EV will be looked after.