The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is to invest $3.5 million in emerging EV infrastructure group Jet Charge, to help fund its efforts to make electric vehicle charging smarter and even pursue vehicle-to-grid options.
But even as it announced the welcome support to crucial transport and grid infrastructure, the Morrison government dug deeper into its hostility for any sort of EV adoption targets for Australia and doubled down on some of its discredited election-era rhetoric.
The CEFC investment, part of a Series A funding round of $4.5 million, will enable Jet Charge to develop ways to encourage drivers to install “smart” home charges that will help the grid see when and where cars are charging, and even enable EVs to send services back to the grid.
“To date, we’ve tried to make sure that anybody who wants to charge their EV, can. However, we need a step change in how we think about EV charging infrastructure if we want mass EV adoption,” says Jet Charge CEO Tim Washington.
“The biggest long-term barrier to EV uptake won’t be model availability, price, or battery life. It will be the ability to cost effectively, intelligently and safely integrate those EVs into national electricity grids, to maximise the use of renewables while ensuring EVs support a stronger electricity grid.”
But any hopes that the Morrison government would use the occasion to signal increasing support for EVs were quickly dashed.
In announcing the CEFC contribution, energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor made it clear there would be no EV targets in the government’s upcoming EV policy (now due at the end of the year).
“What the Government won’t do is tell Australians what kind of car they can and can’t buy, or introduce a tax to meet an electric vehicle target,” Taylor said in a statement announcing the funding support.
Worse, he used the announcement to repeat a discredited claim about the impact of Labor’s election policy (which was for a 50 per cent share of EV in new car sales by 2030).
“Labor’s policy to force Australians to buy electric vehicles will increase the cost of buying a new car by as much as $5,000,” Taylor said.
“The Government’s support for the uptake of EVs is driven by consumer choice. We are taking practical action to address barriers to EV uptake so that Australians who choose to adopt new technologies can.“
The CEFC funding – delivered through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund – will be supported by an additional $1 million from private investors and industry led by Car Sales founder Greg Roebuck.
To read the full version of this story – and view the photo gallery – on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle dedicated site, The Driven, click here…
RenewEconomy and its sister sites One Step Off The Grid and The Driven will continue to publish throughout the Covid-19 crisis, posting good news about technology and project development, and holding government, regulators and business to account. But as the conference market evaporates, and some advertisers pull in their budgets, readers can help by making a voluntary donation here to help ensure we can continue to offer the service free of charge and to as wide an audience as possible. Thankyou for your support.