Missed opportunity to electrify Australian transport
The most important measures to improve electric vehicle uptake have been ignored by the federal government, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.
The long-awaited Future Fuels strategy will support and accelerate the rollout of some EV charging infrastructure. However it does not include subsidies, tax incentives or sales targets.
Crucially, the Electric Vehicle Council said it also fails to deliver minimum fuel efficiency standards, which have been used in the US and Europe for decades. Fuel efficiency standards require car manufacturers to sell vehicles with a combined level of emissions below a defined benchmark, encouraging the sale of zero-emission vehicles.
“There’s no sugar-coating it; Future Fuels is a fizzer,” said Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council.
“If it contained fuel efficiency standards and rebates it would give Australians more choice. The best and most affordable EVs manufacturers are producing would make their way swiftly onto our market.
“Fuel efficiency standards are the absolute bare minimum of what you would expect in any 21st-century plan.
“If Australia continues to be one of the only developed nations without fuel efficiency standards then we will continue to be a dumping ground for the world’s dirtiest vehicles. It’s sadly that simple.
“Future Fuels is certainly an advance on the government’s rhetoric of the last election. The strategy has identified some of the correct benefits and pathways, but it does little to realise them.
“I welcome the progress we’ve seen, but it’s far too little too late. For a strategy that has apparently taken years to write, it leaves much to be desired. Electric vehicles present a monumental opportunity for Australia not only in reducing pollution, but creating an innovative industry in manufacturing, technology and services.
“The sector will continue to urge the government to take appropriate actions that get more vehicles to Australia and on our roads. It’s a shame this government doesn’t have the same ambition for Australians that the electric vehicle industry does.”
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