As the major parties’ climate and environment ministers duked it out at the National Press Club, the Greens released a policy plan that aims to get 31,000 more electric vehicles on Australian roads by 2021 – up from little more than 1,000 now – and 330 more charging stations.
The plan involves subsidising EV buyers to the tune of free registration for the first five years after purchase of a fully electric vehicle, as well as providing local governments and NGOs with $50 million in grants to meet the cost gap between EVs conventional cars.
The Greens also propose providing another $151 million in grants to support the installation of EF charging stations or infrastructure by local and state governments, as well as car park operators.
The policy would also disincentivise the uptake of non-electric vehicles by increasing the luxury car tax to 50 per cent for cars worth more than $100,000
Further, it would bring electric vehicle manufacturing companies into the federal Automotive
Transformation Scheme, to grow the jobs and skills in the electric vehicle industry.
The Greens’ electric vehicle policy launch follows on from last week’s announcement of a battery storage scheme that would help more than one million Australian households install heavily discounted battery systems over the next five years.
The nearly $3 billion policy would use money “redirected” from fossil fuel tax breaks to cover up to half the cost of a new household battery storage system, up to a maximum of $5000 in the first year of the program, with the amount of the credit tapering off to $1,500 by 2021, to reflect the projected decline in technology costs.
The two policies complement each other, according to the widely held industry view that they are the two most important areas of growth in clean technology – in that EV uptake will drive improvements and cost reductions in battery storage, and cheaper, more efficient battery storage will help the proliferation of renewable energy generation.
“Our transport and electricity systems are merging, where the solar panels on our rooves and the batteries in our cars are all part of the one system,” the Greens said in their policy announcement on Wednesday.
“Evidence from other countries is that government has a crucial role to play in building the infrastructure and providing the incentives for early adoption of electric vehicles.
“EVs powered by renewables and battery storage will form a key part of our pollution-free future.”