An electric LandCruiser. Source: VivoPower
A coalition of more than 100 companies are pushing the Australian federal government to get one million electric vehicles on the road in the next five years.
The group, which includesretail and insurance, right through to agriculture and banking, wants a range of strong policy measures brought in to encourage the private and commercial use of EVs.
These include fuel efficiency levels on par with those already used by New Zealand, the US and Europe; an investment in EV manufacturing; more fast charging stations in the regions and suburbs; support for commercial use of EVs; and to develop economic modelling to show the benefits of EVs such as less pollution.
The target for 2027 would require an average of nearly 250,000 new EVs to be rolled out each year over the next four years, a share of almost 25 per cent of new car sales and a dramatic rise from current levels.
Before this year’s federal election, Labor promised 3.8 million EVs on Australian roads by 2030. It is currently asking for submissions to its National Electric Vehicle Strategy to flesh out which policies it will take to Parliament.
Already small businesses are saying they’d look at buying EVs if the government removes the fringe benefit tax on models worth less than $84,916.
With diesel prices set to continue rising, the light commercial sector where companies that do many city deliveries like Ikea and Woolworths will be one of the main winners from policy measures that support more EV use such as more fast chargers outside inner city locations.
“A strong, national EV strategy with targeted policy for the freight and logistics sector will enable the retail sector to accelerate its contribution to transport emissions reductions, enabling sustainable delivery options for Australians,” said Ikea fulfilment sourcing manager Brendan Groll.
Ikea wants its transport fleet to be fully electric in Australia by 2025.
After years of governments ignoring the EV sector, Australia now needs robust policies to not only put a dent in transport emissions but also ensure the country can take part in the global opportunity provided by EVs, says Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari.
“If we get this EV Strategy right, the opportunities are enormous,” he said.
“We could be employing tens of thousands of Australians building batteries, chargers, cars, buses, and trucks. We’ll be cutting pollution from transport and doing our fair share to combat climate change. And we’ll be reducing our reliance on foreign oil by using Australian energy to move.
“Australian business understands that transport should be doing its share of heavy lifting on the path to net zero. If we don’t put a big dent in our transport emissions, by getting more EVs on the roads, it will put unsustainable pressure on other sectors like farming, manufacturing, construction, mining and energy.
Jafari said the absence of a fuel efficiency standard is largely to blame as manufacturers overlook Australia in favour of others who have more ambitious plans. Australia and Russia are the only countries in the OECD which do not have fuel efficiency standards.
This has turned Australia into a dumping country for dirty internal combustion vehicles that can’t be sold anywhere else.
It has also slowed demand for EVs. But this is rapidly changing. The Electric Vehicle Council says their latest data shows a 65 per cent jump in EV sales in the past 12 months, admittedly from a very low base.
The list of companies and organisations calling for one million EVs are:
ABB ActewAGL Australian Electric Vehicle Association AGL Energy Amber ANC Arrival AUSEV Ausgrid Australian Hydrogen Council Australian Trucking Association Bank Australia Beyond Zero Emissions BMW Group (BMW and MINI) Bortana Boundless Brighte BYD Carbar Clean Energy Council Climate Action Network Australia Climate Energy Finance Committee for Sydney ConnectSource Custom Denning Custom Fleet Delta Energy Doctors for the Environment Ebusco Electric Vehicle Council Electrical Trades Union Energy Efficiency Council Energy Renaissance Energylab Environment Victoria Europcar EVenergi Everty Evie Networks Evolution EVSE EVUP Farmers for Climate Action FIMER Fonz Foton Mobility GEMtek Geotab GET Electric Girl Geek Academy Good Car Co Greenpeace Hanson Heavy Vehicle Industry Association Hertz IKEA Australia Jaguar LandRover Jaunt JETCharge JLL JOLT Charge Karmo LDV Linfox MG Motors Microsoft Middy’s Electrical Motion Energy Motorsport Safety & Rescue Myenergi National Electrical and Communications Association Nexport Noodoe NRMA NSW Nature Conservation Council Origin Pepper Money Polestar Pollination Capital Renault Rewiring Australia ROEV SA Power Networks Savic Motorcycles Schneider Electric SEA Electric SG Fleet Sixt Smart Energy Council Solar Citizens Splend St Baker Energy Innovation Fund Tesla The Australia Institute Transurban Tritium Uber Volvo Cars, Volvo Bus and Truck Wallbox Woolworths Group