Australia plans to boost electric car supply; target carbon emissions
The Australian government plans to introduce new regulations targeting vehicle carbon emissions and is looking to boost the uptake of electric cars in the country. At present, only 2% of cars sold in the country are electric when compared with 15% in Britain and 17% in Europe, Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said during a summit.
Australia is the only other OECD country apart from Russia to either not have or be developing fuel efficiency standards, which encourage manufacturers to supply more electric and no-emission vehicles, the minister said. "To me, this is ultimately about choice. And policy settings are denying Australians real choice of good, affordable, no emissions cars," Bowen added.
In September, the government plans to release a discussion paper for consultation, which will place a focus on increasing EV uptake, improving affordability, and looking at options for fuel efficiency standards. Currently, in Australia, only eight EV models priced under A$60,000 ($41,450) are available to choose from in Australia, compared with 26 in Britain.
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The emission move follows the victory of the centre-left Labor government led by Anthony Albanese in May election, which campaigned on a promise of climate policy reforms that would bring the country in line with other developed economies. Albanese has promised tax cuts for electric vehicles, and raised Australia's 2030 target for cutting carbon emissions to a 43% reduction from 2005 levels.
Separately, Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm, who was on a panel discussion at the summit, said Australia has to catch up with the rest of the world as quickly as possible.
(with inputs from Reuters)