Jaguar warns Australia it trailing badly on electric vehicles

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Jaguar Land Rover calls on Turnbull government to provide “unified and clear road ahead” to drive EV uptake, or risk another energy crisis.

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Jaguar electric vehicle EV

British car maker Jaguar Land Rover has called on the Australian government to “do its bit” in driving electric vehicle uptake, or risk putting the nation even further behind the global pace, while also missing a major economic and environmental opportunity.

“As one of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, Jaguar Land Rover is calling on Australian government to provide a unified and clear road ahead for the industry to follow,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Drawing a parallel with the so-called “energy crisis” currently plaguing the National Electricity Market, JLR Australia head Matthew Wiesner said the shift to EVs would happen with or without government backing, but would be much smoother – and more beneficial – with the right policies in place.

“This is about safeguarding in Australia’s future. Electric vehicles are here to stay and there’s an opportunity to build a burgeoning Australian industry (around them),” Wiesner said.

“(The shift to EVs) can create jobs and opportunities in sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology and even mining, where there will be increased demand for minerals needed for EV batteries.

“If we let the rest of the world race ahead, we risk becoming reliant on overseas services and products by the time we catch up. We need clear and cohesive leadership now to ensure we don’t miss out,” he said.

“We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes made with the energy sector, where Government inaction and regulatory indecision stalled progress and ultimately cost Australians through higher prices.”

And while the automaker has a vested interest in the accelerated uptake of electric vehicles – with its first all-electric car, the I-PACE, due to land in Australia later this year, and with a commitment to have an electrified option on all JLR cars by 2020 – it is certainly not a lone voice in calling for government action.

Earlier this year the boss of BMW Australia made a similar appeal, and the Electric Vehicle Council has repeatedly called on the government to support the move to electric cars, especially due to the multiple benefits they could bring.

“There is a reason why governments [around the world] are intervening to transition fleets from petrol and diesel to electric,” said EVC CEO Behyad Jafari in comments in October last year.

“It’s one of the more efficient ways to reduce emissions. That includes improvements to air quality and recognising that this is a new technology that is continuing to get more efficient and is growing around the world.

“The largest role here is for the federal government to send an ambiguous message to consumers and industry that it supports this transition to electric vehicles. That means providing incentives or tax exemptions for the purchase of electric vehicles and having a nationally coordinated plan for the transition of our road fleet.”

And according to Jaguar, even the average Australian thinks the nation has fallen far behind the global pace on EV uptake.

A survey commissioned by the car maker, the results of which were published on Thursday, found that 68 per cent of respondents believed Australia was “more than 10 times” behind the rest of the world in EV adoption.

Another 79 per cent said they wanted to see politicians support EV adoption, and trial new tax incentives to increase uptake. Less than half of respondents (47 per cent) believed the federal g government had a good vision and policy for EV adoption.

The survey also revealed that 85 per cent of Australians believed EVs could be a positive economic opportunity for Australia; while another 70 per cent believed the world was in the midst of a once-in-100-year shift to replace petrol cars with EVs.

“Australians are ready for electric vehicles, and the industry is too – now we need the federal government to do their bit and present their framework,” Wiesner said.

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46 Comments
  1. Joe 5 months ago

    Where is our ‘EV Champion’, the Kelly, on this issue….at his local pumper filling up his ICE?

  2. Robert Westinghouse 5 months ago

    The government lies and cheats each Australian. Taking from us and giving to the Big End of town. Even my 10-year-old understands about the benefits of EV, PV and Batteries….perhaps she and the fools in Canberra need to talk.

    • Joe 5 months ago

      Our kids learn about it and get it, the issue of living on a sustainable planet. And they get it that they will inherit what today’s so called ‘Leaders’ are leaving behind for our kids, a planet that is being turned into a shit heap as the vested interests profit with short term financial gains at the cost of the future. Turnbull & co have their own kids and grand kids so how is it that they can purposely divorce themselves from reality and the future that they are ‘gifting’ to their youngest.

  3. Ian 5 months ago

    This article hits the right spot “The largest role here is for the federal government to send an ambiguous message to consumers and industry ”

    Exactly right , we need all the ambiguity we can get from government. 😉

    • Will Goode 5 months ago

      Does no one understand the word ambiguity

    • Gregory J. OLSEN Esq 5 months ago

      I think “Ambiguous” is a typo. “Unambiguous” makes more sense. 🙂

      • DugS 5 months ago

        Or ‘ambitious ‘?

  4. PacoBella 5 months ago

    Jobs and Growth? Innovation and Agility? What happened to these aspirations? Change management and economic development are two processes that are foundational issues that underpin modern governance. Does nobody in Canberra get this stuff? Sanjeev Gupta understands the role of cheap, clean energy in reviving the fortunes of the run-down steel and aluminium businesses he bought after the mediocre business people that are all too common in the Australian business world stuffed them up. The current Government let the car industry go under and it is squandering the opportunities to reverse the decline of manufacturing in order to please its fossil fuel donors (who are mainly overseas-owned). Its enough to make you weep.

  5. Ian 5 months ago

    As a consumer nation, what is the point of leading the world in buying EV, we would just be patrons of other nations’ industry, exporting government financial support to the likes of TATA and BMW. Any incentives for EV should be to achieve aims to benefit our own situation: Manufacturing in Australia would be nice. Encouraging overseas suppliers to sell their EV products at a reasonable price without undue priceloading would be very beneficial. Reducing our reliance on imported fuels by decarbonising our transport.

    If overseas Vehicle manufacturers are serious about EV like the TATA subsidiaries jaguar land rover or BMW, then they must not price-gouge their products. We know batteries OEM costs are $250/kWH or less so don’t price your vehicles at double or triple those of equivalent ICE.

    • MaxG 5 months ago

      When will people understand that capitalist firms profit-maximise in their interest, not that of the consumer.

  6. Richard Houlton 5 months ago

    Australians are great adopters of technology when and where it makes sense. Electric cars don’t make a lot of sense at the moment. Australia has much bigger distances to contend with so range anxiety is still an issue. Fast recharging infrastructure isn’t really there, and electric cars are too expensive for what you get. Will that change? Absolutely it will. As soon as manufacturers crack fast charging batteries that allow you to fill up your electric car as quickly and conveniently as your petrol engined car, that’s the tipping point. It’s then all over for the internal combustion engine. The price of electric cars will tumble globally with the increase in volumes, to the point where they will be much cheaper to design, package, and build than ICE vehicles. The Australian fleet will change over as rapidly as the rest of the world. We won’t be left behind and simple economics will drive the adoption.

    • Mike Shackleton 5 months ago

      Range anxiety is no longer an issue – Charging stations exist everywhere on major routes. Driving Melbourne to Adelaide I noted 2 supercharger locations, and I’ve seen 3 on the Melbourne to Sydney route. Unless you’re going to do something like the Birdsville track, sure, I get it. There are also plug in hybrids that give you enough range for a daily commute with a petrol engine as backup.
      Refuelling an electric car requires a shift in habits – you adopt the basic mantra “Always Be Charging” ie. charge the car when you are parked up doing other things. I’d argue that electric cars can be even more convenient than petrol cars, as you can charge from home overnight, no need to go to a petrol station. Even on a long drive you have to take a break and the superchargers installed at the interstate locations allow you to get a solid charge in less than 30 minutes, which is fair, when you consider the time to get a coffee and a toilet break.

      • Richard Houlton 5 months ago

        Nah….it’s still an issue. And electric cars are still too expensive for what you get. But that will change very soon….and when it does it will be a landslide adoption. The ICE will disappear from the new car showrooms completely in 5-10 years.

        I might add,that as a perltrol head, I’m going to miss the ICE. Running an EV out tthrough its non-existent gearbox and listening too its “hum” won’t be the same.

        • Nick Kemp 5 months ago

          “Running an EV out tthrough its non-existent gearbox and listening too its “hum” won’t be the same.”

          Funny, That’s he bit I’m really looking forward to. I can pretend I’m driving a roller

        • Greg Hudson 5 months ago

          You can get an App that simulates the sound of almost any car you like. Works with any EV. Some ICE cars already have it built in as well (2018 MB A Class for example)…

          • Richard Houlton 5 months ago

            Yeah….you don’t get it do you? LOL

          • Greg Hudson 4 months ago

            Yes, I do get it, which is why I told you about the App. One day, you WILL need it to placate your inner petrol head dreams.

          • Richard Houlton 4 months ago

            No….you don’t get it. And yes, I’ve said repeatedly that I will have to move to an EV. I am not denying the inevitability of that. You will not be able to buy a new ICE vehicle at some point. I accept that. Got it? But I won’t be sitting in my EV playing V8 noises when that happens. I’m not that big a dick.

    • Ian 5 months ago

      Overseas manufacturers make the mistake of thinking that Australians are loaded with cash and rather parochial and gullible, easy to sell overpriced goods here. If the price is right then people will buy. That is the game we are all playing: manufacturers say “we will make you EV cheaply if you will buy them” and consumers say “ we will buy your cars if you make them cheap enough” the role of incentives is to bridge that confidence gap. The question is: should this country subsidise buyers and therefore manufacturers when the manufacturers are foreign and not even on Australian soil?

    • DugS 5 months ago

      Hi Richard, on the face of it I agree about the adoption of EV’s being constrained by price but availability is also a significant barrier. However I think a big incentive to the change, despite the high cost, is climate change and the strong desire of people to do something meaningful about reducing their carbon footprint. The logic of clean electric power coming off your roof and into your car is hugely powerful as it is unambiguous, simple and perfectly doable now. The effective zero energy cost along with low running costs inherent in EV’s will easily negate the higher upfront cost.
      But to get back to the article- this is another example of industry pointing out the bleeding obvious to our politicians I.e. pull your head out of the sand, see the opportunities available if we get ahead of the clean energy revolution curve, and do your job of enabling the prosperity of the nation. Frankly it is embarrassing to have a government so out of step with the rest of the world and the sooner we get the chance to vote them into obscurity the better.
      One last thing, the superiority of the EV drive chain and the lack of noxious fumes and noise will soon convert you from being a petrol head, I know from experience. It’s like the smoker who says they like smoking, a self deluding nonsense that only they can perceive once finally free of the habit. After driving my PHEV for a few months I noticed I had developed a strong aversion to exhaust fumes and even petrol fumes. And gliding along in silence is wonderful, just wait till you get the chance to experience it, you won’t miss the perpetual roar of an ICE at all.

      • Richard Houlton 5 months ago

        I’ve driven a Tesla. I was impressed by the refinement, and the straight line acceleration was impressive…which seems to impress Americans, but doesn’t make it a “sports car”. If a Tesla were a quarter of the price, I still wouldn’t willingly swap my MX5 for one. And no EV is EVER going to match a Ferrari or an Aston Martin or even a V8 Mustang for visceral drama. And I like the smell of petrol fumes LOL. So no, there is no chance that I’m going to love EVs. But I reluctantly accept their inevitability.

        • radotrenco 5 months ago

          Not even that fact will sway you in your rigid opinion that you only use 25-30% energy in petrol or diesel? You buy not so cheap petrol and you waste 70% of that energy in heat. EV’s have over 90% efficiency and I suggest you check out youtube videos where Tesla cars are clearly faster off the mark then fossil burners aka Ferrari or Lamborghini, or Aston Martin. Change is happening fast Richard

          • Richard Houlton 5 months ago

            I understand all of that. I accept EVs are the future but there isn’t enough in it for me currently to make a change to one…yet. And I couldn’t give a damn if a Tesla is faster in a straight line than a Ferrari. That is utterly irrelevant to me. No EV is ever going to match a multi-cylinder ICE for a visceral connection. You just don’t understand petrolheads…and that’s okay. Why do people spend a fortune on mechanical wristwatches when a quartz watch is cheaper and more accurate?

          • MaxG 5 months ago

            Well, the time will come when the girls chose the guy with the EV over the petrol stinkers. 🙂
            … and as you said ‘visceral’! 🙂 relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect. — I think the coal lovers have similar thoughts 🙂

          • Richard Houlton 5 months ago

            Sorry Max. It’s not about head it’s about heart and I don’t give a toss about your “intellectual” opinion and I buy my cars to impress me, not “girls” (and any guy that buys their cars on that basis is pathetic anyway). I’ll hold onto my “stinker” for a while yet because EVs have yet to make a persuasive enough argument. I know at some point I’ll have to adopt an EV. I’ll be a very late adopter I think.

          • MaxG 5 months ago

            Yes, be true to yourself… no need to be sorry; and I did neither express an opinion nor an intellectual one; I cited the dictionary. Like you said: it’s not about the head.

          • Greg Hudson 5 months ago

            You’re just like a dinosaur but you don’t know it yet. But you do now.

          • Richard Houlton 5 months ago

            What do you mean, “I don’t know it yet”? I’m not stupid. I’m completely aware of where “cars” are heading. Self driving autonomous Ubers. It’s said that EVs will make up 30-40% of the new car market by 2025. I think that could be conservative.

            So I’m not in denial about EVs. I GET IT. But…as a self-confessed petrol head (which the other posters on this thread, who trying to convince me I’m out of touch, clearly are not)…does that future excite me? Hell no!

            Not one single EV I’ve seen so far really excites me….and I’ve seen them all so I don’t need people to point out the existence of 1900hp Rimacs that do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. I still think they’re boring.

            So I’ll probably continue to drive an ICE vehicle as long as I am allowed to operate one.

          • Greg Hudson 4 months ago

            I didn’t say you were stupid. You are on this web site, so you obviously are not. As for driving an ICE for as long as you are allowed… IMO there will be a different reason you will switch to an EV one day… because you will find it difficult to locate a petrol station. This is already happening in Melbourne (but for a different non-EV related reason). I was driving my wife’s ICE which needed refuelling. Went to the closest station according to Google maps, and it was gone. I had to go to 3 more sites to find some more dinosaur juice. Why are they disappearing you may ask? Because of real estate prices. Developers are all over them wanting to put up multi level apartments, and the petrol station owners are doing the smart thing and getting out before the EV shit-storm starts.
            Eventually, the only time you’ll be driving your MX 5 is when you tow it on a trailer (with your electric SUV or pickup) to a race track, and there will be a petrol tanker there charging you $10/liter for the privilege of a few hours driving. (As an ex BMW Z3 owner, Winton is my fav spot for doing this BTW).

          • Richard Houlton 4 months ago

            And when those things come to pass, I’ll buy an EV. I still have to get to work.

        • Greg Hudson 5 months ago

          There’s this thing called the Tesla Roadster V2 that might change your mind. It’s like an MX5 with the power of a Koenigsegg (1500kW?) See:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster_(2020)
          Available to order now, but you’ll need a cool US$250k+

          • Richard Houlton 5 months ago

            It still weighs 300-400kgs more than it should. The ICE engined Lotus that it’s based on is not as quick in a straight line (which seems to be all that matters to Americans) but that’s not really important in sports cars. What is important is that the Lotus is a lot lighter and more agile, and it’s about a third of the price of the Tesla, which absurdly expensive for what you get. So no. There is ZERO chance that a Tesla Roadster is going to push any buttons with me.

          • Greg Hudson 4 months ago

            Richard, I’m not talking about the 10 year old original Lotus inspired Tesla Roadster, it’s the Roadster Version 2 with the 1500kW. Forget the 300-400Kg’s of extra weight. Just look at what is happening on Pike’s Peak in the USA… EV’s are KILLING old ICE’s…
            Yes, you are correct that ‘lower weight’ is good, but if you can offset battery weight by lower center of gravity and 4wd, who cares.

          • Richard Houlton 4 months ago

            You don’t get it. I don’t care who’s faster up Pike’s Peak. It’s UTTERLY irrelevant to me. I get a ticket here for driving 3kph over the limit and there are cameras everywhere. I don’t need my car to be faster. And yes I know that EV cars work great for packaging weight low and that’s an advantage. But when you drive something like a Lotus Elise you know there’s no substitute for low weight.

          • Greg Hudson 4 months ago

            No, YOU don’t get it. Forget the American ‘straight line speed’ thing, that has been superceded, as has the old Lotus Elise (ICE), and the Tesla version. The Tesla Roadster V2 eclipses ALL of them, plus any Ferrari or equivalent. Fast acceleration 0-100kph in 1.9 sec AND has handling to go with it. You just don’t get it. EV’s are now heads above all other power sources (which is why the T Roadster 2 was created… as a showcase of what CAN be done), and, this is just the first release. It would not surprise me if it gets better and better. More power, lighter weight, better suspension etc etc.

          • Richard Houlton 4 months ago

            You don’t get it. I DONT CARE how fast a Tesla V2 is.
            I couldn’t give a toss if it can do 0-“losing my licence” in 2 seconds. That’s just not useable or fun in a road car. I can’t use a road car that fast. Nobody can. I’d still rather have a Lotus Elise…actually…make that 3 of them for the same money. Actually, I’d rather have my MX5 and an Elise (with a manual gearbox) and $100k in the bank.
            NOTHING you say will convince me that I’d enjoy owning an EV. When I buy one (as I most certainly will have to), that will be the day that I lose interest in driving altogether. And it’ll probably be self-driving anyway. It’d had better be able to legally drive me how drunk from the pub!

          • Ian 4 months ago

            Richard, you make some interesting points. When you commute to work, tired from staying up late commenting on your favourite web site ,or commute back home tired from your boring work day are you really that interested in the visceral sensation of the throbbing V8 between your thighs, you probably are thinking or feeling not much at all, just wanting to get home ASAP.

          • Richard Houlton 4 months ago

            It’s why I use an MX5 for my daily drive Ian. I can drive it flat out everywhere and it’s so slow that I can’t break the law doing that. I’m doing 50kph and it’s hilarious fun. All these EV so-called “Sports Cars” are too fast. And way too expensive.

      • Greg Hudson 5 months ago

        I saw an item on last night’s news claiming the average Aussie spends $17k per year just on fuel. (One days wages required just to get to / from work). Compare that to $0 getting power off your roof via solar to power your EV… It doesn’t take too many years of NOT paying $17k to completely pay off an EV (with maybe the exception of a Tesla Model X).
        However, the biggest benefit is the reduction in greenhouse gasses produced, and reducing your carbon footprint from say 100 grams per km to basically zero.

    • radotrenco 5 months ago

      Richard you can now travel between Adelaide and Cairns and use FREE fast DC Chargers and you don’t need to stop at every single one. Your maximum duration of recharging would be around 1 hour. Toilet, food, and you are on your way. Tesla superchargers are between Adelaide and Brisbane and between Brisbane and Cairns there are QLD Gov Fast DC Chargers that are free until Jan 2019, maybe longer. For more and regular updates about EVs and renewable energy follow us on https://www.facebook.com/groups/teslaownersandfans/

  7. Robert Comerford 5 months ago

    Should not the word be ‘unambiguous’ .

    The time is long past when fossil fuel cars should have ceased sale. The technology is already here to have battery only and PHEV’s that do not use any fossil fuel.
    In places like Australia with often long miles to be driven a hybrid with its range extender running on a renewable liquid fuel should already be the norm. If batteries can eventually do the job affordably for the masses then the hybrids will fade away.
    Just how much longer are we supposed to foul the planet while supporting middle eastern terrorists by running on dino jihad juice?

  8. arne-nl 5 months ago

    I don’t get it. Isn’t Australia the home of the World Solar Challenge?

  9. Nick Kemp 5 months ago

    While the I_PAce is a nice thing Jaguar want to sell it for around $120,000 while the E_Pace ICE Jag is around $80,000. While they keep putting price differentials like that in place EV take up will never be huge.

    As battery prices keep dropping we will eventually get the $35, 000 EV with decent range and the sales should take off. I wouldn’t count on that being a Jag though – probably a Hyundai or Kia

  10. MaxG 5 months ago

    What a shame, when a market is no market for a company… tears all over the shop. all these me-to car makers turning EV, they are not in for the green, they are in for the green. (The former meaning environment, the latter meaning money.)

    • solarguy 5 months ago

      A rather cynical, but profound view Max. How do we get affordable electric cars, buses and trucks if they don’t manufacture on mass. Economies of scale!

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