The federal government will soon unveil the anticipated Future Fuels Strategy. The Strategy sets out the government’s plans to partner with the private sector, funding 50,000 charging stations for electric vehicles across the country. It is hoped this will drive reduced emissions by encouraging Australians to buy electric vehicles.
According to the government, the Strategy will create 2,600 jobs over its first three years. Funding for the Strategy has been expanded to $250 million.
The Prime Minister criticised the Labor Party in 2019 regarding their proposal for half of all new cars to be electric by 2030. At the time, Mr Morrison said the plan was unrealistic and said the Labor Party was effectively waging a “war on the weekend”.
The Morrison Government has made it clear that the new strategy will not introduce any tax incentives or subsidies for those investing in electric vehicles. Aspects of the new plan have been subject to criticism by the automotive industry.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) said in a statement that, while the new plan is a step forward, it may not be enough. They further say that a more specific and achievable goal will be needed to effectively reduce emissions.
“The availability of EVs [electric vehicles] in Australia is increasing as car manufacturers respond to growing demand, however the reality is that they still account for less than one percent of total vehicle sales year-to-date,” said FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber in a statement.
“This means that the government’s target for EVs to be 30% of new vehicle sales by 2030 is extremely optimistic.
“We strongly urge the government to adopt FCAI’s existing voluntary emissions standard which sets a clear pathway towards lower C02 emissions across the entire passenger and light commercial fleet through to 2030.”
However, the Morrison Government says subsidies and tax incentives are not the answer.
“Reducing the total cost of ownership through subsidies would not represent value for the taxpayer, particularly as industry is rapidly working through technological developments to make battery electric vehicles cheaper,” said the government’s written strategy.
“We will not be forcing Australians out of the car they want to drive or penalizing those who can least afford it through bans or taxes,” said the Prime Minister in talks with ABC.
“Instead, the strategy will work to drive down the cost of low and zero-emission vehicles and enhance consumer choice.”
The full details of the Future Fuels Strategy are expected to be released today.
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