There is no doubt that the electric vehicles revolution is coming. Bloomberg predicts that EVs will make up more than 50 per cent of all new car sales globally by 2040, and will be cheaper to buy than petrol and diesel cars by 2025. Other OECD countries are moving quickly to position themselves so that they can maximise the benefits, and minimize the associated risks.
Evidence from major car manufacturers suggests that EV’s will become their mainstay. The world’s biggest car maker, Volkswagen, recently announced they alone will invest around 84 billion US dollars to put 300 EV models on the market by 2030.
Federal leadership on this issue has been severely lacking, and was one of the main reasons I advocated for the establishment of the Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles. The committee received around 150 submissions, heard from 81 witnesses and conducted 4 site visits. The varied witness line up included government, industry, academics and the start-up sector who all spoke of the vast opportunities electric vehicle uptake could bring to Australia. The shift to electric vehicles will bring economic, social and environmental benefits to Australia and the good news is we already have the skills and resources needed to take full advantage.
South Australia and Adelaide in particular are ideally placed to take full advantage of the electric vehicles revolution; we have the infrastructure, engineering and labour expertise to be leaders in this new future of car manufacturing. The committee has shown a light on the already existing knowledge and expertise and showcased some of the world’s best in the electric vehicle space.
The committee report was tabled in January this year and produced 17 recommendations by consensus. The report acknowledges that without appropriate regulatory settings, Australia’s near term EV uptake is likely to be modest with the result of fewer EV models being available to Australian motorists as well as delaying the realisation of substantial economic, environmental and health benefits.
I have also advocated for further, faster action beyond the Inquiry’s recommendations to deliver economic and environmental benefits sooner.
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