31 May 2017

New Electric Vehicle Council to encourage use of EVs in Australia

Businesses and policymakers have come together to stimulate Australia’s electric vehicle (EV) market, including the launch of a new national body, research grants, and private sector investment. 

A total of 17 industry organisations – including non-profit think tank ClimateWorks Australia, EV giant Tesla and EV charging infrastructure firm JET Charge – have established a new national body to promote the adoption of EVs in Australia.

The Electric Vehicle Council was launched on Monday 22 May at Parliament House in Canberra.

Beyhad Jafari, Chair of the Electric Vehicle Council, said: “Assessing the barriers preventing the mass uptake of electric vehicles in Australia requires a consistent and collaborative effort across a range of sectors.”

The Council will focus on ways to overcome the technical, economic, and infrastructure- related challenges preventing the large-scale uptake of EVs in Australia.

Specifically, the new body will look into: increasing demand for EVs in corporate fleets; pushing for new policy initiatives and vehicle emission standards; and encouraging investment in nationwide EV charging infrastructure in addition to publishing an annual state of electric vehicles report.

At the launch, Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg announced that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will invest AUD390,000 to support the uptake of EVs in the country. 

The private sector also announced its own strategies to encourage Australia’s EV market.

Energy giant AGL Energy will purchase 36 Mitsubishi EVs by 2018, in a bid to achieve its target of electrifying a tenth of its business car fleet by 2018.

Last year, AGL launched its Electric Car Plan, which offers AGL customers the ability to charge their vehicles at home for just one dollar per day.

Andy Vesey, Managing Director and CEO of AGL, said: “We are committed to leading the development of distributed energy technologies and are on our way to operating the largest fleet of plug-in vehicles of any Australian business.”

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