It was touted by the federal climate change and energy minister, Chris Bowen, as an ambitious and “nationally consistent, comprehensive framework to looking at supply, demand and infrastructure needs for cleaner and cheaper vehicles” and his announcement today on Australia’s first National EV Strategy was to set the scene for a reimagining of the automotive and energy sectors of Australia’s future. In reality it contained little detail on infrastructure as promised, and no new incentives for consumers.We asked Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council and Andrew Forster, CEO of EVX Australia for their thoughts.
 

It’s a relief that an Australian Government has finally committed to fuel efficiency standards, which have been operational in the US and Europe for decades. But with those jurisdictions now leaping forward in terms of ambition Australia must bring in strong standards that keep pace with the modern world. If we squib it on the detail Australia will remain the world’s dumping ground for dated, high-emission vehicles.Australia is lagging behind as one of the last developed countries without any fuel efficiency standards. From the US to Europe and across the ditch in New Zealand, strong fuel efficiency standards are providing drivers with more EV choice and reducing harmful emissions. Having fuel efficiency standards in Australia in line with global markets will save motorists hundreds of dollars on fuel each year and give them more affordable electric vehicles to choose from.If Australia is serious about developing a local EV value chain to secure our future prosperity, the first crucial step to secure investment is to demonstrate we have a strong local market for these products. This will only be possible through the introduction of a globally-competitive fuel efficiency standard that accelerates local adoption.We will be working closely with the government as it designs a fuel efficiency standard for passenger and light commercial vehicles. Australia has a bright and clean electric future just around the corner, but only if we get the policy settings right today.

 

We are pleased to see this Federal approach to driving sustainable transport through emissions standards and support through the Driving the Nation fund. This will give industry and investors greater certainty when looking to deploy and invest in the required infrastructure and systems to support future EV owners. We would however like to see more emphasis on urban and regional, long dwell (AC) charging infrastructure from the State and Federal Governments. While we welcome any progress in policy regarding EV charging, we continue to see a lack of specific focus in this area. The deployment of similar infrastructure has proven to be a lynchpin in EV uptake in more mature markets, particularly in the UK, Europe and the US and delivers vastly more cost-effective deployment of infrastructure that meets a wide range of use cases. We are very pleased to see a drive towards unified industry protocols and standards including sharing of data and aligning service and installation rules. We do, however, urge the State and Federal governments to engage early with industry, so we can actively contribute to developing the framework and have sufficient time to build the tools required to deliver on these initiatives.


Enlit Australia Focus Edition 1 in partnership with:        
 

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