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Lack of government support is hurting the EV industry in Australia, making it a dumpsite for petrol cars

Most of the A-list countries have rolled out policies that back the electric vehicle industry to encourage consumers to transition to cleaner transport. Countries like the United States, China, and European Union members have given discounts to users who buy battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

These governments have also made it hard for consumers to continue buying petrol and diesel cars by making the cost of running them expensive. Australia is doing nothing to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles. There are no rebates for new EVs and no directions regarding the use of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Furthermore, as other countries boast of various EV models to choose from, Australians don’t have much choice. For instance, according to the Guardian, users in the UK can choose from about thirty-three models. European consumers choose from a pool of thirty-nine models. Meanwhile, in the US, manufacturers have availed over forty-three models for their customers.

Australians have only twenty-nine varieties to choose from. These models are both BEVs and PHEVs. The lack of appropriate incentives and laws from the government has scared away EV investors. Besides, some state governments are making it harder by introducing EV road taxes.

“Australians are paying the price for the federal government’s lack of ambition. And with state governments such as Victoria looking to introduce new taxes on electric vehicles,[Australia] is an aberration,” said Behyad Jafari, CEO of Electric Vehicle Council.

“The acceleration of the EV market is occurring. We spend a lot of time here in Australia talking about how in future years, the price of electric cars will fall. The reality is the price has fallen; they’re just not being brought here because we don’t have the policy,” added Jafari.

Manufacturers worldwide are shifting to the electric car market. Volkswagen is investing millions of dollars in renovating its factories for the production of EVs.Jaguar announced its plan to go all-electric by 2025. The Swedish automaker, Volvo, targets to ditch ICE production by 2030, while General Motors is cleaning its fleet by 2035.

“A global car company looks around at every other market in the world and sees that consumers get financial support for buying an EV and that there are growing costs for running a petrol vehicle. Australia doesn’t have these, and that’s why we miss out. Australia looks weird, essentially,” noted Jafari.

Reports by global management consulting firm, McKinsey and Company, indicate that in 2019 alone, manufacturers launched one hundred and forty-three models of EVs. This number will rise to over four hundred and fifty by 2022. Consumers around the world will have a lot of options. Australia is likely to miss out on this chance if the government doesn’t lay out policies to make Australia a better target market for EVs.

“It’s carrot and stick. There is a huge list of policies you can run, but what it really comes down to are the consumer financial incentives and the CO2 standards on your light vehicle fleet. Without those two things, you don’t get a market,” added Jafari.

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