Should Turnbull follow French lead and invite Tesla to build EVs in Australia?

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Malcolm Turnbull is a big fan of Tesla, and innovation, so should be follow France’s lead and ask Elon Musk to build electric vehicles at an old factory? A consortium of utilities and others in Australia wants the government to stop its “do-nothing” approach to EVs.

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The French government this week got caught up in the excitement around the release of the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle, and the massive numbers of orders it received, and invited Tesla founder Elon Musk to establish a manufacturing plant in France, in a soon-to-be-disused nuclear facility.

“Who dares, wins,” said French energy minister Segolene Royal, as she announced an offer to Musk to build an Tesla production plant on the site of the Fessenheim nuclear facility that is due for closure next year, and as she spoke about the need to attract the jobs of the future.

It raises an interesting question. Should Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian prime minister who wants to make “innovation” and “disruptive technology” his hallmark, and is already a huge fan of the Tesla Model S, extend a similar invitation to Musk and invite him to help meet soaring demand with a production plant in Australia?

turnbull tesla

Turnbull last year visited the Tesla EV production line in Fremont, California (pictured above), and took a test drive of the Model S. Turnbull declared himself to be a fan of the “world’s fastest and coolest” car, and of the fact that Tesla had taken over an “old industrial relic”, a former General Motors factory, and turned it into a modern manufacturing plant.

“Walking through the highly automated assembly lines was inspiring, but nothing matched taking a test drive in the latest Tesla S model,” Turnbull enthused. You can read more here.

There are a bunch of reasons why Turnbull would want to extend an invitation to Musk. One is the fact that the electric vehicle will, soon enough, make the internal combustion engine redundant, be it in 10 years as some suggest, or a few decades.

Australia, too, has plenty of old industrial relics to be repurposed. Its car manufacturing industry is about to die with the imminent closure of the last players. South Australia, in particular, is losing industry. Its steel works are under threat, and premier Jay Weatherill has pledged to make his state a centre of the decarbonised economy.

There are probably a few good reasons why Australia is not a great place for electric vehicle manufacturing. One is the question of scale, even if some niche players are trying to make a go of it.

At the very least, Australia should be making more effort to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles, and to establish niche industries and manufacturing that can build and service parts of the global EV industry, if not build the whole vehicle.

That’s the view of a consortium of companies that spans energy network operators (Transgrid, Ergon), energy retailers (AGL Energy), EV makers (Tesla and Renault), EV service and charging companies (Jet Charge, Tritium, ChargePoint), three city councils (Adelaide, Sydney and Moreland) and advocacy and research groups such as Swinburne University, ClimateWorks and the Electric Vehicle Council.

A new report released on Thursday calls on the Turnbull government to provide a range of incentives to encourage the uptake of EVs, including emissions standards (Australia doesn’t have any), tax changes and fleet mandates, among others.

It says transport emissions in Australia have grown by nearly half since 1990, accounting for 17 per cent of the country’s total emissions and projected to rise by a further 6 per cent.

Australia, however, has one of the smallest take-ups of EVs in the developed world. In 2014 (before the arrival of the Tesla Model S) just 948 EVs were sold, out of a total market of more than one million.

Nissan has not even bothered to release its second generation Leaf into the Australian market. The Renault Zoe and the Chevy Bolt will also not be available.

But the consortium argues that EVs can deliver lower costs to consumers, and cut emissions, as well as delivering much needed industrial, jobs, and health benefits. (You can read more here, in Six reasons why Australia should accelerate EV ownership)

On emissions, the study says that, on average, the National Electricity Market would deliver transport fuels to electric vehicles at lower emissions than liquid fuels – the exception being Victoria, with its huge reliance on brown coal. But more renewable energy could address that.

And there is an interest in fuel security. Australia imports 90 per cent of its transport fuel needs. It has a buffer of less than three weeks for its supplies. And as Australia would save on making less imports, consumers would save by spending less on fuel. But their is a “chicken and egg” situation on EV costs, revolving around demand and supply and economies of scale.

To address this, the consortium wants the government to introduce a range of measure to encourage manufacturers to make EV models available across the market.

It wants to provide incentives for EV infrastructure, fuel consumption labelling, fleet purchasing policies, exemptions from luxury car and fringe benefit tax, and a national EV roadmap.

“These measures are aimed at supporting the greater uptake of EVs in Australia, in particular at early stages in order to increase model choice and supporting infrastructure,” the report says.

“International evidence suggests a strong correlation between sales and the number of vehicle models offered. The lack of vehicle choice in Australia sits alongside the relatively high price of electric vehicles, where internationally a range of financial and non-financial consumer incentives boost both supply and demand.

“The lack of a national policy framework in Australia has led to limited overall support and incentives in comparison to our global peers, which has contributed to our poor ranking among major OECD countries for the energy efficiency of our transport sector.”

You’d think that Turnbull and state leaders like Weatherill would be falling over each other trying to show leadership on this issue. Australia seems to be a long way from the rest of the world sometimes.

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85 Comments
  1. Barri Mundee 4 years ago

    Will Malcolm Turnbull be innovative or just disruptive?

    • Brendan Lee 4 years ago

      Isn’t disruption Tony Abbott’s job?

      • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

        Yes it sure has been but MT is so far little better.Early on he showed promise but that was soon dispelled.

    • john 4 years ago

      Neither frankly

    • Ian 4 years ago

      No, he like most politicians will look at the political weather and see which way his leaf should blow. He will make some provisional comments and see how his ratings fair he will then consult with his most prominent financial and political supporters,stick all the information into his political calculator and see which answer best suits his career. He will then carefully craft words to say what his electorate wants to hear and mean what his power base instructs him to do.

  2. Ross Carroll 4 years ago

    “Australia imports 90 per cent of its transport fuel needs.” I had no idea we imported so much. Beyond the obvious savings and environmental benefits of electric cars there’s a very strong case for energy independence to be made. Gone would be the days of being held to ransom at the service station at the beginning of each holiday for instance. Mind you, a wise service station owner should be looking for another business soon I’d guess.

    • Geoff James 4 years ago

      Just for interest: in 2013-2014 Australia’s energy exports (mostly coal and LNG) earned $71.5 billion, and Australia’s energy imports were worth $40.7 billion in 2012-13, predominately for crude oil and refined petroleum products. Our energy balance of trade is not so large.

      While coal dominates our electricity supply, oil accounts for 38% of primary energy consumption and is the largest single component, which surprised me too. See http://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-policy-forum/opportunities-beyond-the-australian-energy-white-paper/ for more detail and references.

      • Ian 4 years ago

        The fact that we import over a million barrels of refined fuels a day should be a huge impetus to promote EV . Substituting imported fuel with domestic electricity will tread on only foreign toes. Our fossil fuel electricity generators could have a stay of execution long enough to exit the electricity scene gracefully. The pressure to suppress rooftop solar and wind farms will disappear as there will be more than enough demand for all types of electricity generation. As we often hear, EV adoption is a no brainer. If petroleum fuels represent 38 % of our energy consumption, substituting electricity for petroleum would increase the market for electricity by about 70 %. Actually subsidising EV would be a subsidy to the renewables and coal electricity industries. The 40 thousand million dollars used to import liquid fuels could subsidise over a million EV every year. How frigging ridiculously simple is the case for EV? Perhaps others can develop this idea further. Substituting domestic electrical energy for foreign liquid fuels will increase demand on an over supplied electricity market allowing coal and gas assets to retire slowly and allow renewable assets to develop. Reducing demand on oil will tip the supply / demand equation for oil prices to the lower side ensuring ongoing cheap oil, again a huge subsidy to all aspects of domestic and international economies. The savings on imported liquid fuels can buy subsidies for EV, creating a beneficial upward spiral of EV adoption and FF substitution. The more battery storage available, the more stability to the electricity grid, another big plus to the grid operators.

        • Ian 4 years ago

          Another thing with keeping oil prices low is that money that would normally go to developing new oil sources will instead remain in the hands of the oil consumer ie the general non -oil producing economy of the world. This financial resource would be then available to purchase renewables and battery vehicles storage etc. As the supply of oil diminishes through lack of investment so the demand for oil will diminish through substitution with renewables , the net effect would be a continuous imbalance between oil supply and demand . Less oil produced and even less oil needed equals continuous low oil prices.

          • Ian 4 years ago

            The thing I love about electricity is its scalability and repeatability through different magnitudes of scale . The same problems and solutions occur at the household level as at the community, state and country level. The country can take a tip from the simple household: what do you do if your energy bill is too high and you have already economised on energy use ? Why, you install solar of course. In other words you substitute homemade energy for imported energy. Australia has a hefty imported energy bill and now we have the opportunity to substitute for home grown energy. There are so many options for doing this. EV, high speed trains, metro systems to name the most obvious.

          • johnybizzaro 4 years ago

            Your not getting it. You an talk and type all you want. The political donors decide on who gets to be elected. They don’t care about what you want. They are richest people around the world.

          • Phil Gorman 4 years ago

            I fear you’re right but hope and work for change.

          • Matt 4 years ago

            They’re talking about stranded coal assets on RE a lot.. well what happens when the adoption of electric vehicles takes place. Oil will be perpetually cheap as demand drives off a cliff.

            Maybe at some point the government will actually subsidise petrol stations for some short period in their death throws simply to keep fuel available for those who still need it? Especially in rural areas.

            But as we’ve seen in another post here on RE there’s a guy saying electric vehicles could kill ICE in ~ 10 years. Someone else, again, mentioned that although it sounds like wishful thinking (very fast), history has shown that adoption of new technology is faster with each iteration. Radio, tv, car, internet, mobiles, smart phones… each one adopted faster than the last and by more people. So if it happens, it’s possible that it will happen faster than anyone would reasonably expect.

          • Ian 4 years ago

            We know that persisting with burning fossil fuels will be catastrophic, we can only hope that this battery Angel can save us!

    • Ian 4 years ago

      EV batteries are the problem, poor Musk is bravely attempting to singlehandedly transform transportation. The energy density and cost of petrol is so damn good that even inefficient ICE is a hard act to beat. No one knows if his punt on EV will be successful, so it’s not unreasonable to wait a year or 2 before luring EV manufacturers to our shores.

      People are wrong to assume that our population and industrial base is too spread out. In fact it’s as densely packed as anywhere, most of the population lives in a handful of towns right on the coast, the only place that did not have coal resources or hydro right on its doorstep was SA. Our wind and solar resources are second to none. Last I read, this country buys 1 million vehicles a year, plenty of customers for a vehicle manufacturing industry. There is something else at play preventing domestic manufacturing. Is it social, political, attitudinal, is it the Dutch disease of abundant raw materials?

      It might happen that lithium batteries become so cheap and easy to manufacture that anyone could do this, then naturally manufacturing of this will occur everywhere including here in Australia. Do we really need to be leaders in the field so as to not ‘ miss out’ in the manufacturing aspect of the EV revolution ? Our past history of selling our Australian icon industries is not good. Imagine investing billions of public tax dollars into innovative companies only to sell this to some foreign wealth fund. If we invited Tesla to manufacture EV and batteries here we would still be followers and not leaders of this game. As soon as the government support dries up Tesla will just up bags and go to the next sucker.

      My suggestion, for what it’s worth, is for this country to wait a few years to allow EV prices to become competitive with ICE vehicles before spending public funds on this but in the mean time start developing the legal framework to support EV adoption such as preferential use of lanes and parking for EV, reducing or eliminating luxury taxes on EV, developing or adopting standards for 2way charging and exporting power to and from EV. The government could also prevent price gouging of EV ensuring that the cost of EV to the public is very similar to that in Europe or the USA. They could leverage the tail coating of the incumbent electricity generators to offer them a slice of the energy consumption pie to compensate for their loss of household energy customers. A million barrels of fuel a day is a lot of energy that the likes of Energex or Ergon could be supplying. They should be salivating at the prospect of so much energy sales.

      This prospect of transferring their customer base from household electricity consumption to transport energy should take the opposition the incumbents have to distributed solar and wind farms away.

      • Ross Carroll 4 years ago

        What a great reply Ian, thank you so much. I vacillate on weather we need a local car industry here. Maybe not yet and today I bought the subject up with my 79 yr old Dad who had a huge rant about how many Holdens he’d bought over the years and how he’d never buy another Australian made car again. (no, I’m not going there). Very poorly made was the summary. And for a bloke who’s so down on the Japanese about the war he’s bought a lot of Toyota’s in my life time.

        I see the wisdom in what you’re saying about preparing the legal framework and so on for EV’s. Reading about Costa Rica’s switch to renewables was interesting (I can’t seem to find more detailed info) but they’ve achieved a near 100% switch to renewable energy with no Government money, they tweaked some laws and regulations. I’m interested in what they actually did so that we here in Australia could learn and see if there’s any way we could do something similar.

        To keep myself entertained on long drives and sitting on the loo, I’ve been pondering how a company could make a profit from establishing a renewable public charging network for EV’s.
        But I think an actuary or some such might have a better idea about doing that.

        • Ian 4 years ago

          Thanks Ross for your affirmation. The motivation for switching to renewables has got to be to save our collective selves from global warming. Making a profit is just one vehicle to get us there. I like to think my hero Elon Musk is doing just that, making a profit to advance this cause. Another vehicle is freely exchanging information and ideas.The old [email protected] rts ( me included ) reading and commenting on this site have been graciously given an opportunity to explore renewables ideas and many have given free insights to whoever will listen. There’s no good hanging on to ideas that might turn a profit. Just let your best ideas free and see where they fly. Open source your information for the betterment of all.

      • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

        If we waited for you to innovate we’d never get past square wheels.
        By the time your ‘plan’ comes to fruition we will be so poor we won’t be able to buy anything.

        • Ian 4 years ago

          Did you read my whole post, l’m impressed. The danger is investing in square wheels when round ones may be just around the corner. This country will never be poor, it’s lucky, don ‘t you know that. My point was that we could ready ourselves for EV by preparing the legal and economic field. This could be done quite cheaply. There must be an honest economic case for any move to electrification of transportation otherwise we will be poorer for it. Looking at the cost of importing liquid fuels versus using homegrown energy and EV may be just such a case. Things move pretty quickly in the energy sphere. Which makes this all so interesting. Poor Turnbull with his lead boots is still promoting coal long after that horse has bolted. Electric vehicle batteries are almost cheap enough but not quite there yet . Do we want to be the ones betting our house on that technology, when others are already doing that? Should we wait a little bit and then pounce when the cost is right or should we aim for a full frontal charge ?

          • Diego Matter 4 years ago

            So Ian, what is cheap enough for an EV battery? When will that point in time be?

            It’s not a point in time, it’s a continuum, you know – early adopters pay a lot (Model S anyone?), followers pay a lot less and the mainstream will pay what they always paid for a car. And the people already pay (or lease) cars that are more expensive than the Tesla Model 3.

            There’s no point in waiting any longer. In fact Tesla has waited until now where they know they have the battery chemistry and the price they need to make the Model 3 work.

            So in my opinion it’s the perfect time for Australia to invest public money to become Tesla’s manufacturing hub for the Model 3 for the asian market. Also, a manufacturing plant needs a lot of time to get operational.

  3. Phil 4 years ago

    Can never happen in Australia due the high cost of energy and labour. And just about everything really.

    I do believe a better and more viable option would be an under license BYD type bus and light truck factory as these are very high cost products that SHOULD be made in Australia

    If your making nothing it pays to “cherry pick” where and what you start with.

    • john 4 years ago

      You are correct cost of manufacture in Australia is too high plus energy costs due to distance to distribute energy to a low density user base.
      To explain if you send power to 10,000 people as in Australia over 800 km then it is cheaper to sent power to same 10.000 people over 100 km.

    • Diego Matter 4 years ago

      Phil, please read my comments above why it is doable and important.

    • johnybizzaro 4 years ago

      He is right. The labor in Australia is really expensive earning a median wage of 43k. Now they should give up and die. Ah wait. maybe the folks claiming labor is expensive here ought to lead by example and work for less. Hell work for free. They love to work right?

  4. rick 4 years ago

    Phil if Australia is to get out of its slumber we have to start manufacturing again, if we produced for export then the numbers produced we be a more practical situation to keep increasing as the world demand for the product of E Vehicles. Stop being negative and start being optimistic and things become achievable.

    • john 4 years ago

      Australia is never going to manufacture any Technological salable object end of story.
      We do software very well in fact we sell it as to manufacturing some salable item no zilch

      • Diego Matter 4 years ago

        John, why are you so negative? Just give it a try, will you?

        If you say NO from the start, of course we will miss out. And by the way, Australia produced (and sold) cars for many, many years. The models they produced were not in demand anymore, that was the problem.

        It is so important that Australia can keep the knowledge of all the engineers in the automotive industry. If we lose that, were [email protected]#$%.

        • john 4 years ago

          Sorry Diego
          Yes in fact the first ute with a V8 was made in Australia.
          Perhaps this may be the way to go with graphene.
          http://grabat.es/
          use translator.
          A link can be found from battery news
          http://www.graphene-info.com/

          • Diego Matter 4 years ago

            If Elon Musk is reading these comments, of course he will have no interest in setting up production in Australia. He needs positive people to make it happen.

            Everybody said he will fail, and still, with the help of his awesome team and his awesome guidance, he managed to get over the unsurmountable hurdles and produce an awesome, very desirable EV. No other big manufacturer was able to do it and now the Tesla Model 3 is changing the game again.

            Now, that’s the spirit Australia is missing! Of course it’s hard to stay positive when jerks have the power in government.

            And to those who say GM with the Chevy Bolt will be the winner, take a step back and compare both cars on the desirability scale. The Tesla Model 3 is much sexier, roomier, faster, has more range, and all for the same price. This combination is what other manufacturers are lacking. Tesla has to speed up the production timeline though.

            So John, let me ask you again – why are you so negative? First give it a try. Problems are there to be solved.

            And workers without a job and no chance to get a new job will probably accept a lower paid job at Tesla’s SA factory if they’re clever enough. or won’t they?

          • john 4 years ago

            I am not negative about Tesla at all
            Elon is the man who gave his IP free to anyone who wants to use it.
            Why?
            Because he wishes to grow an industry that will contribute to a good outcome for society
            This company lead by Elon is vary rare in corporate USA or in Europe or East Asia

          • Diego Matter 4 years ago

            Thanks for the links John. But I think you miss the point here.

            Tesla’s Elon Musk has the battery technology he needs to get the Model 3 on the road with a proven, reliable battery chemistry,

            He once said that he gets proposals for new seemingly better battery chemistries on his office table every day, but until now the all lacked a crucial property.

          • john 4 years ago

            There was a story from 2014 where it was surmised that Tesla was looking at graphene this came from China.
            This is an English video about graphene

          • Diego Matter 4 years ago

            Of course they are looking out for the next big battery all the time. It would be suicide not to. But the point is that they don’t need to wait for the next big thing. Tesla will switch soon enough when these new graphene batteries become available.

          • john 4 years ago

            Diego as i said before it would not surprise me if Tesla announces that they have moved to graphene with perhaps an 100% increase in performance just imagine 400 miles of distance before you need to charge less weight faster charge.
            I am totally not a Tesla put down merchant believe me.
            Lets wait for Model 3 update in a few years time

          • john 4 years ago

            The performance parameters for a graphene battery are 1000 KWh per Kg weight.
            If this happens we have a whole new industry end of story

  5. Chris Fraser 4 years ago

    He could buy a few Model S cars for the ComCar fleet. Cheaper and less polluting than taking the chopper …

  6. john 4 years ago

    There is Zero chance of Tesla coming to Australia.
    Absolutely no chance at all why?
    Number 1 Australia has shown it self to be against any type of RE innovation.
    Number 2 Australia is totally against any type of use of energy that is not produced by oil or coal.
    While it is true part of the energy use of the Model 3 may be supplied by Coal this is not enough to convince the people in charge to think differently.
    So Tesla I would say will go to South Africa because well low wages for a start and not faced with a country that is aggressively against their technology.

    • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

      I believe you are incorrect. It isn’t that Australia is opposed to renewable energy or innovation with EVs, it is the Australian Government of Abbotturnbull and their right-wing puppet masters who call the tune. The majority of Australians are actually in favour of a cleaner, greener future for their grand children, but no-one is game to leave the fossil wilderness, and they’re not brave enough to vote the LNP out. Above all, we want a safe future as far as possible from harsh reality. So we are stuck with Turnbull and Hunt and the great pretence.

      The ANZACS would be stunned at what cowards we have become.

      • john 4 years ago

        Good points John.
        However let me tell you a true story.
        I rang the national sales manager several years ago when the Leaf was being put together and said i wished to buy one.
        His answer ” What is a leaf ?”
        When it was released some 12 or so months later i was told mine was available for $52 k now at the time it went to market it was $32 or $34 k in Japan, USA and EU.
        Needless to say i declined the offer.
        Too much front loading in the price at that time for this market.
        Just ask people “Did you hear about the Model 3 ?”. Most have just looked puzzled and have no idea or interest.

        I do not see much change at all.

        • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

          Hi John,
          Let’s be fair, even I would have responded more readily if you’d included the name Tesla. But you’re asking the wrong question entirely. Try ‘solar panels with batteries’. The interest level is high – especially among the 1.5 million Australian householders who have already invested in rooftop solar. When you consider how heavily the dice are loaded against us, by government and, as you rightly point out, with absurd gouging prices on many imported vehicles, its no wonder that interest in EVs is low. The truth is, certain companies choose not to promote some models in this country, so if you want one, be prepared to pay. But the Toyota 86 broke that mould, sells here for close to its US price, plus GST, and ten grand less than the price in England, so there might be others prepared to move as well.
          So we may not be EV leaders on a global scale, but with the new Tritium super-fast chargers being rolled out ahead of demand, paving the way for the wary with range anxiety, there might be enough momentum to shake people up.

          • john 4 years ago

            Very true there is interest however not very well informed people when talking about solar panels let alone batteries.
            If the graphene battery lives up to expectations then the price
            storage range part of EV will be solved.
            http://www.graphene-info.com/

        • DogzOwn 4 years ago

          New Nissan Leaf USD10,263.00 http://wp.me/p21JJ6-Qy

  7. Terry J Wall 4 years ago

    Malcolm Turnbull,
    you are getting boring. You still a fan of everything that has been commercially fucked over by corporate US? MORE reading required; MSM has been annally lobotomised quite a while ago. Trust in your Australian Scientists as they are far less likely to have been

    • john 4 years ago

      You know something
      I deleted Malcolm’s email address a few years ago

    • johnybizzaro 4 years ago

      Unless we get rid political donations, it can never be solved. That is a scourge world wide.

  8. howardpatr 4 years ago

    Right wing religious conservatives and renewable energy technology skeptics like the Member for Hume, Angus Taylor, would put a stop to any thoughts Cayman Turnbull might have on such a proposal.

    Mad Monk Abbott seems to drive many aspects of the Cayman Turnbull Government, especially when it comes to policies relating to science and innovation.

  9. Brian Tehan 4 years ago

    Australian auto workers wages are not high by world standards. For example, GM workers get US$58 per hour, including benefits, which is significantly higher than the comparable current Australian auto worker cost in A$. The high labour costs were due to the short period when the A$ reached parity and above.
    The relatively high cost of energy in Australia is due to over-investment in the grid. As discussed in these pages, the excessive costs must be written down for a number of reasons.
    I think that one big factor that could tempt companies like Tesla to set up shop here, apart from redundant car manufacturing plant and skilled workers, is if Australia made some serious effort to come up with a government policy to move to 100% renewables. With our large renewable potential, compared to any European country or, even, the USA, we could provide lower cost energy for companies like Tesla that want to use renewable energy for their manufacturing – as per BZEs Renewable Energy Superpower plans. Unfortunately, this won’t happen as long as the current government is in power.
    As pointed out in the article, using EVs would increase our energy independence and also reduce our large balance of payments problems. I’m not sure of the exact figure but it was $18 billion in 2011, so it must be over $20 billion now and rapidly increasing as our oil reserves run down.

    • john 4 years ago

      I know you point out good aspects, however I can not see Tesla coming to Australia.
      As i said earlier no policy to look to the future.
      As you are aware no one is aware of the energy dependence issue.
      I think Zero change of this happening many reasons both because of inherent myopic vision and inertia withing the political system and society in general.

  10. Thylacine 4 years ago

    Not only yes to that but order cars for Comcar fleet in Canberra. What a message it would send. If not for all at least for members of the cabinet, especially Malcolm Bligh Turnbull and Greg Hunt.

  11. Thylacine 4 years ago

    In response to Australia being the nation with the slowest uptake of EVs, could that be because there aren’t any EVs to buy besides, a Tesla, too expensive, a Mitsubishi MiEV, too small and out of date or a Nissan Leaf not imported since 2012 so also now out of date and too expensive at the time. I suggest those interested in EVs look up the nearest AEVA branch in their state and consider joining.

    • Mike Wayville 4 years ago

      I have a Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid SUV. Purchased just before Xmas. Have spent $15 on petrol since then. Use 100% batteries around town for regular driving. Great car.

    • Sed 4 years ago

      Yes, which is the main point of the (40 page) submission. There’s not a large enough market for manufacturers to bring in new models, go through the fixed expense of ADR compliance / homologation, marketing etc only to have the cars not sell in sufficient numbers. That’s what happened to Nissan who brought in a bunch of Leafs in 2012 and took almost 4 years to sell them.

      The idea is to bring in incentives and temporarily bring down the cost, which allows manufacturers to bring in cars in greater numbers and ultimately bring down the costs thanks to economy of scale.

  12. Terry J Wall 4 years ago

    I so want to own an EV.
    Cannot wait till some BRICS country comes up with a EV that is medium range and innovative. I cannot stand countries who have been overtaken by the 1% and now living on the carcasses of their workers.

    • DogzOwn 4 years ago

      Brice country already did it, a few years ago, check Reva

  13. phred01 4 years ago

    Not a `fat chance it’s easier to import and pay for it with plastic

  14. rick 4 years ago

    Terry EV do not need to be long range 200Km 300Km is achievable it just needs battery packs of the correct size and here is the big one more money spent on research into new and existing types of battery, different sized cars can achieve the same thing a little 2 seater to go to the shops don’t need a 7seater if all you do is local to the shops and back, now as they say horses for courses . If we had spent the last 100 years researching batteries and not building petrol powered cars etc , we would be traveling 1000Km per charge. Guess what the largest selling motor vehicle was 100 years ago it was battery powered vehicles. It was only that oil became stupidly cheap that it took over as the motive force for motor vehicles. Boy did we take a wrong turn. So think a little out side where you are comfortable and start your own research into what you can do to help the more EV sold, the Tesla about the same cost as a Dunnydoor commode or holden. now take your blinkers off and see what is possible if your attitude is not negative. There are 3 models in the Tesla range and the range in price is large once again horses for courses. look at an overall view for energy many types, some good some terribly dirty some absolutely should not be used. But once again the responsibility is yours so we can only blame fools for stupid decisions and try to get bad decisions changed at a later date after the damage has been done. Poor dumb tax payer cops it all the time as politicians always get away scot free and we pick up the tab. How often is a politician taken to court for their bad decision and made to pay for reparations.

  15. rick 4 years ago

    Brian look workers do not have to be highly skilled as such just be willing and can be retrained to take up new skills, biggest problem with any employers in Australia is employers do not want to train or retrain they just want to Buy fully trained and skilled people get them from overseas etc shows how dumb they really are. They see it as throwing money away. The stupidity of this is this holds us back as a country, we could repurpose the currently dying car plants to produce EV and the supply industry that feeds parts for this industry, it is not rocket science. The biggest hurdle is political as long as they sit in their air conditioned offices and every time they feel hot to crank up the air ( filtered remember) they will not venture out into the real world. I have Diplomas ,Adv. Dip in electrical engineering a total of 15 in related fields all at my cost but guess what I am over qualified for every job I can think of. So my answer is make work for myself, I am going to start repurposing petrol powered vehicles to EV as a side line to solar installs. So my answer (Old petrol powered to EV ute style vehicle to sell to trades people who do not have to drive a million KM per day just up to about 200 KM. Range is not such a great problem it is, as it is possible to recharge on site with take your own solar ( take it with you) it my not be a full charge but a top up and if power is available on site then recharge is possible. look the answers come easy if you think of a problem as the answer you just haven’t found yet and it is good for that grey gooey stuff between your ears to do some work you can take that hat off that says stupid and put on that says smart. Be careful people will now expect you to keep it up and become productive.

  16. rick 4 years ago

    John battery research is what is needed it will drive solar back up on homes, factories ,vehicles, trucks, buses , imagination is what we need. Try thinking it is still free. If you have positive thoughts pass then on, the negative ones keep in your own head they should not be allowed to roam free. Now if this has stirred up some thought then my job has be successful. Happy thinking people see what you can come up with.

  17. john 4 years ago

    Sorry if my thoughts re manufacturing are annoying my apologies.
    Batteries however are another matter.
    There is no reason that the country can not get into the business and
    when the research in the lab comes to market with lighter weight larger storage capacity resulting in upward of a possible 100% improvement the EV will be a vehicle of choice. Energy storage news and related graphene
    http://www.energystoragenews.org/
    http://www.graphene-info.com/

  18. rick 4 years ago

    John battery storage only need move in small amounts to cause others to attempt to better it, it does not need to be a quantum leap but it is great when technology does. Research is what is used to keep the flow to something better, keep looking and you will find it.

    • john 4 years ago

      in fact some advances are happening go look at battery story news
      However to me graphene holds the key atm

  19. Rob G 4 years ago

    I have believed for sometime now that we should be encouraging EV builds in South Australia. Open the doors, offer tax breaks for the first two years and put in place policy that set % targets for EVs on our roads. Having a guaranteed market would trigger a small/medium economic boom. We have the car builders waiting, ready to go, we have the materials and we have the population. We could potentially export to Asia and NZ.
    Now that would be innovation! SA could be a renewable manufacturing hot spot – wind turbines, Solar, flow batteries… All we need now is some vision…

    • john 4 years ago

      I thought i read somewhere where Tata had been approached

  20. Diego Matter 4 years ago

    Yes, Turnbull should invite Tesla.

    • Chris Marshalk 4 years ago

      It won’t happen. These scum bag liberals don’t have any interests with Green technology nor for their mates in the big end of town.

      • Alex Pittendreigh 4 years ago

        Exactly. Turnbull should be called out for the fraud that he is. There has been no significant change in coalition policy since he became PM. He had his team have had more than ample time to have a least made a start.

  21. Rob 4 years ago

    It would be great if Teslas were made in Australia. Better still, why don’t we make our own EV and call it the OzE ( Aussie Electric ). While were at it, do what ever is necessary to get innovative electric vehicles available in Australia like the Renault Twizy. Get to work politicians!

  22. Max Hamilton 4 years ago

    There’ll be heaps of perfectly good ICE powered cars which could be converted to electric power. Huge opportunity for small-scale entrepreneurs to offer conversions. There are dozens of backyarders doing their own already.

    • Diego Matter 4 years ago

      Because of lack of space the range will not be good. I for myself want an EV that can go from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast and back (220km) without recharging.

  23. Robert Comerford 4 years ago

    Right idea, wrong car. The Australian public are now obsessed with either SUV’s or cheap to buy tiny petrol misers; not sure how that car fits into those buying profiles.

    When it comes to building our own….. With our tiny population we need to build on a platform that can be sold as passenger vehicle, ute or panel van…. and we need fast chargers everywhere to run these things.

  24. john 4 years ago

    I would ask everyone to go investigate Graphene.
    If this comes to market it is definitely the end of ICE with out about
    I am confident that Graphene batteries will be the storage system that moves society onward and the first to adapt are the young tech literate who actually look at innovation not the main stream who just follow pathetic TV that is basically rubbish.

  25. john 4 years ago

    Lets get real
    Scale of manufacture in Australia
    Small
    Yes we could build a factory however the factory would need high demand to be able to have cost per unit viable so be realistic please.
    2000 units a year with a 2 billion dollar build you do the figures against 200000 for the same expend.
    Even at 20,000 it is still not viable

    • Terry J Wall 4 years ago

      John we already have the factories and the skilled workers. Just get them converting the currently operational fleet.

  26. rick 4 years ago

    Terry I am getting ready to start repurposing petrol powered utes to electric, now we have a small ready market but there are problems with trying to do this to just any vehicle as they all start out as one offs so with each one you are relearning each time but not unattainable. It is just the scale you want to bite off I will start small with the longer term looking at repairing exiting electric vehicles just repairing damaged battery packs . At last it will keep me busy.

    • Terry J Wall 4 years ago

      I have a ute that I could be interested in doing something like that with. 2005 Ford Courier. Where do you live? Always thought a Ute might be a good start. Extra weight would make it smoother to drive and plenty of room for batteries.

  27. JustThink4Once 4 years ago

    The political party that’s going out of it’s way to destroy renewable energy in Australia adopting an EV project? Right…… We’d have more chance of Labor implementing this, only to be destroyed by the very next LNP government. That’s the problem. Australia is a red flag at the moment for anything that threatens fossil fuels.

  28. rick 4 years ago

    Open to whom ever, the biggest problem is lack of political will to change the current way things are done look at Queensland where they are attempting to get another coal mine going it is only to appease the out of work coal miners so you can guess who they are trying to make happy so that they get their votes when it is time to vote ( do you think we could retrain coal miners to make electric vehicles I am sure anyone could be retrained if they wanted to be) . As with most projects it is dependant on who will benefit. The old I will look after my mates first as they backed me into power now I can misuse it ( oops I ment use it for good and for the betterment of all jez I must be living on another planet where people in power only do things for the better of all around them). Now sorry took a wrong turn there but we do need better people in politics with the purpose of serving the public and not self interest. Now on the subject of retraining it is possible and will open up plenty of jobs in many areas around the fringes of all the industries that are associated or in near overlap. Start by harassing your local member of Glugamennt and you will see how entranced they are. If you look you can find many ways we can improve employment it needs us to look in the right direction. that’s enough for now I have a solar install to finish ( off grid to prepare for when the F I T is removed 31.12.16 in NSW.

  29. rick 4 years ago

    Just think. I was a solar installer, Liberals do what they are very good at destroying solar or solar related projects I was put out of work so I am not impressed when anyone Liberal related says or does just about any thing, it is only to look after their coal interests they all carry shares in coal so guess what they will look after. Now the only way the general public will get a renewable lifestyle going is to do it your self, OK start with Home solar PV, solar hot water , then when you look at Home solar look into battery back up, now on battery back up, many different types lots of research needed here. But this is currently growing at a rate I am having trouble keeping up with but a lot of fun. It is not impossible you need to look carefully at all the different types so many. My choice is off grid PV with battery back up, solar hot water that I have had for about 7 years and no bills for hot water ( Apricus round tube 25% more efficient over flat plate collectors( old Tech 40 years) now back to my Off grid solar to be battery back up intergrated with changeover switch to give other options as I can come up with them. I have 4KW in one system on grid, 5KW off grid to be finished( work not quite finished ) another 3.6Kw system to off grid too. Now I want to independent of as much of the Grid system as possible I see this as best for me and in around about way this planet as well I will try and take even a small amount of load off the poor planet cant completely remove my self but if I can make little tiny footprints that is my contribution to a better planet.

  30. rick 4 years ago

    Terry a falcon ute could be a good candidate, remove the petrol motor, fuel tank keep gearbox hopefully manual( easier to mod) remove radiator keep air con if it has it power stering this is the starting point quite a bit to look at before you start a plan needs to be made the list does become quite long to plan before you start plus a lot of conversations on what is expected performance and cost wise. I am in Marayong as suburb of Sydney. So start thinking and if this looks like it could go some where the let me know.

  31. rick 4 years ago

    terry the vehicle we are looking at is also a courier so 2 similar models would make life easier. Have a think about it as the budget has some large number purchases to be made, sorry it is hard to get all the ideas together so if it is to go ahead, then maybe we can talk. think hard as it will take time to go from start to running. it also has to go to DMT for OK before you can drive it. Tried to cover the immediate points you need to know. This is a jump into unusual areas but not unattainable.

  32. chris seaborn 4 years ago

    If we’re not yet ready to manufacture electric cars in Australia so be it, I’ve read good arguments both for and against but, in the meantime, why not build electric tractors for rural use? It would sure save our farmers a lot of money, they are never far away from their home base so range is no problem and the extra battery weight would add valuable ballast. Anyone know where there’s an empty factory and skilled workers available?

  33. rick 4 years ago

    Alex if you expected a Liberal to have any interest at all in Renewables of any kind you would have better luck in expecting that the sun won’t come up again tomorrow, It is something they have not interest in at all. So the only way to effect change is a change of government and you need to hammer you local member to push the renewable way of doing things and not let any thing else happen.

  34. Mike Baensch 3 years ago

    Ford is pulling out of its factory in Geelong.
    Could be an opportunity for Tesla to move in.
    😉

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