The Future Fuels Strategy discussion paper stated that companies and governments could pave the way for electric vehicles by buying them for their fleets and then selling them on the used market.
However, no tough targets were set for Australia to stop gasoline vehicle sales, no incentives for drivers to buy electric cars, or how electric vehicles could help reduce Australia’s carbon emissions as part of a broader government strategy.
There are no incentives
Rebecca Michael, public policy director for the Queensland Motorists Association, RACQ, said the paper took a passive approach and focused on commercial investment without outlining direct government action like lowering or eliminating import duties, registration fees and tariffs.
“It’s less of a strategy than a scouting piece,” said Dr. Michael.
The Australian government’s approach has been unfavorably compared to that of US President Joe Biden, who said in late January that he wanted to use discounts and incentives to encourage Americans to switch to electric vehicles and install 500,000 new charging points across the country, part of the its target of net zero emissions by 2035.
The Australian states and territories were more progressive. The ACT plans to cut registration fees and provide interest-free loans to electric car buyers.
NSW’s Motorists Association, NRMA, said the Commonwealth could easily remove the luxury car tax, which is 33 percent for fuel-efficient cars worth $ 77,565 or more for electric vehicles, to make them more affordable.
Electric car prices have come down, but the cheapest electric car in Australia is still around $ 44,000, and most Tesla models cost more than $ 80,000.
Jake Whitehead, an e-vehicle policy researcher at the University of Queensland, said Australia is already at a disadvantage compared to other countries when it comes to securing mass-produced electric cars because it drives on the left side of the road for most of the time World go on the right side.
Left handed disadvantage
There was no shortage of electric vehicles around the world, but manufacturers had no reason to send them to Australia when they were promised increased demand in other left-hand drive markets such as the UK, which banned sales of new gasoline and diesel cars after 2030. he said.
Motorists’ associations said Australian drivers still “range anxiety” about how far electric vehicles could go before needing to be charged, but argued that existing ranges of 450 to 470 kilometers are fine for most daily activities such as working, shopping, or dropping off Children in school.
Electric car makers say plans by some state governments to burden electric vehicle drivers for using the roads will further deter people from buying them.
An online rally will be held on Tuesday, organized by the SolarCitizens community action group and supported by the Electric Vehicle Council, to protest proposed new laws in some states to charge electric vehicles on roads.
Victoria plans to charge EV drivers 2.5 ¢ for every kilometer they drive starting in July. However, the Victorian auto company RACV has welcomed the new tax as a step towards creating a “fairer road network for users with total pay”. South Australia also wants EV owners to pay road tolls.