EV Policy Paralysis Driving Australia Backwards

The Government has today released its Future Fuels Discussion Paper, which contains no additional funding and little in the way of commitments to accelerate electric vehicle uptake.

Background 

  • The Government promised an Electric Vehicle Strategy in 2018, and instead delivered a discussion paper that does not exclusively focus on electric vehicles
  • The only changes to the discussion paper compared to the leaked draft from December 2020 are justifications for the lack of government support
  • Transport remains a high polluting sector of the Australian economy and that will continue in the absence of any new government policy

“This is an all-talk no-action discussion paper. Joe Biden has done more for electric vehicles in one week than the Morrison government has done in eight years,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy director at the Australia Institute. 

“We need an actual electric vehicles policy roadmap to ensure everyday Australians can benefit from the major savings and clean air that electric vehicles can deliver. Right now they are priced out of the market.

“The only change to the future fuels discussion paper compared to the leaked draft from December 2020 is the additional justification for the lack of government support. The government is spending far more effort defending its lack of policies than it is in developing them.

“Instead of incentivising electric vehicles by removing import taxes and lowering registration costs and stamp duty, like in the EU and US, Minister Taylor has announced nothing. This inertia is apparently because these incentives are deemed ‘not cost effective’, which conveniently is a metric not used when subsidising the fossil fuel industry.

“The Government admits that electrifying vehicle fleets would have massive benefits, but provides no policies to actually drive that transition. They could set targets for electric vehicle uptake within fleets without spending a cent.

“When it comes to fleets, the Government has chosen not to lead by example. It would cost less to electrify the federal fleet than what the Government recently spent on road upgrades to access the Beetaloo gas basin.

“Holden-owner General Motors, America’s largest car manufacturer, is already embracing electric vehicles and committed to phasing out petrol and diesel light vehicles. The electric vehicle policy paralysis from this Government means that everyday Australians are going to be left with gas guzzlers while others enjoy the global electric vehicle revolution.”

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