Australia Pledges More Investment In EV Chargers

November 09 18:00 2021

The Australian government has reportedly pledged A$178 million ($132 million) as part of the plans to ramp up the rollout of hydrogen refuelling and charging stations for electric vehicles. According to Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, the beefed-up Future Fuels Fund provides “an Australian way” to lower transport emissions. This is a reiteration of a slogan recently introduced to describe Australia’s middle ground on climate change policy.

We will not be forcing Australians out of the car they want to drive or penalising those who can least afford it through bans or taxes,” Morrison said in a statement. “Instead, the strategy will work to drive down the cost of low and zero-emission vehicles.”

The additional investment will be spent by the end of June 2025, aiding the purchases of electric cars and buses for government and business fleets. However, industry groups and green activists have stated that rebates and tax breaks are required as incentives for purchasing cleaner cars in a country where transport is the third-largest source of carbon emissions.

The federal government purports to support choice for Australian motorists, but in fact its strategy stifles choice by making it very challenging for Australia to attract a wide selection of battery electric vehicles to the market,” Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said.

The federal government has expressed plans to lower carbon emissions by more than 8 million tonnes by 2035, with a projection that battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will make up 30% of annual new car and light truck sales by 2030.

A recent survey by The Australia Institute think tank however found 64% of Australians favoured requiring all new car sales in the country to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and 71% supported government subsidies for electric cars.

The EV market in Australia continues to grow, with the sale of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales hitting a record 8,688 in the first half of 2021. Australia currently boasts of over 3,000 public chargers installed in different parts of the country, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.

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,” council Chief Executive Behyad Jafari said in a statement.

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