Australia's electric car strategy achieving "bare minimum": expert

By MattGossBai Xu
  • World
  • Tuesday, 15 Dec 2020

CANBERRA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Experts have described the Australian government's electric car strategy as the "bare minimum."

Richie Merzian, the climate and energy director at think tank The Australia Institute, said that the long-awaited "Future Fuels Strategy", which was initially due to be released in 2019, fails to incentivize purchasing electric vehicles.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Tuesday that the strategy, which will be released before the end of 2020, does not include financial help for motorists who switch to electric vehicles or a target for electric vehicle sales.

"What we need are serious incentives to bring on board electric vehicles," Merzian said.

"That can be direct funding, a certain number of thousands of dollars off that sticker price.

"Or it could be in lowering some of the import taxes, like the luxury car tax so they don't fall foul for electric vehicles, which usually do get stuck with that extra cost."

Electric vehicles were one of the issues in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election.

The opposition Labor Party, then led by Bill Shorten, promised an ambitious electric vehicle policy that included having electric vehicles make up 50 percent of new car sales by 2030 while Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the opposition's proposed target was "a war on the weekends."

Mark Butler, Labor's climate and energy spokesperson, said that he was concerned about the lack of fuel efficiency standards in the strategy.

"We are driving the least-efficient fleet of cars and light trucks in the developed world and there's nothing in this strategy to help clean up the fleet," he said.

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