Australia lagging behind on electric vehicles: industry group

2021-03-06 04:05:25 GMT2021-03-06 12:05:25(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CANBERRA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Australians are paying the price for governments' lack of ambition on electric vehicles according to the industry's peak body.

Behyad Jafari, the chief executive of the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC), described the electric vehicle (EV) policies of Australia's federal, state and territory governments as an "aberration" that inhibits take-up.

While governments in the U.S., Europe and China seek to encourage the uptake of EVs with a range of policies, some state governments in Australia look to introduce new taxes on electric vehicles.

In Australia's fast-growing state Victoria, starting in financial year 2021-22 the owner of an EV that travels 20,000 km in a year will pay 500 Australian dollars (384.3 U.S. dollars) in road user taxes.

Jafari said that such policies have made Australia a less attractive market for EV manufacturers.

"The acceleration of the EV market is occurring," he was quoted by The Guardian on Saturday.

"We spend a lot of time here in Australia talking about how in future years the price of electric cars will fall. The reality is the price has fallen, they're just not being brought here, because we don't have the policy.

"A global car company looks around at every other market in the world and sees that consumers get financial support for buying an EV and that there are growing costs for running a petrol vehicle. Australia doesn't have these, and that's why we miss out."

According to The Guardian there are 29 base model EVs available to purchase in Australia compared to 33 in Britain, 39 in the European Union (EU) and 43 in the United States.

The Labor Party promised to have a national electric vehicle target of 50 percent of new car sales by 2030 in the lead-up to the 2019 general election but has abandoned the policy since being defeated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out introducing subsidies for EVs. Enditem