EV MARKET GETS A SPARK
“50% of Australia’s new car sales to be EVs by 2030”
Bill Shorten effectively fired the starting gun for the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry in Australia when he announced a few months out from the election that Labor would target 50% of Australia’s new car sales to be EVs by 2030. Shorten drove off, leaving the Government in Labor’s dust.
Michaelia Cash, with Morrison by her shoulder, accused Labor of stealing our weekends “They’re coming for your utes? Oh please. Enough with the limp scares”, denying tradies their mega utes and questioning the time of recharging the vehicle.
Shorten stepped aside for the fabulous KK to blow the Government out of the water which she did with some aplomb, showing numerous photographs of Government ministers with electric cars and buses trumpeting their policy to target 50% of Australia’s new car sales to be EVs by 2030.
“Supplying and installing EV chargers has seen “five to six-fold growth” over the past financial year”
Hey, that’s the same policy Labor announced. So, instead of commending Labor on matching their policy, they lampooned it. The Bookmaking Agencies lengthened the Government’s odds.
So, what’s happened since? Well, judging by Jenny Wiggins and Simon Evans article ‘Labor charges electric vehicle market’ in the AFR of 11-12 May, it’s all happening. In the article, they report that a business supplying and installing EV chargers has seen “five to six-fold growth” over the past financial year.
A major car dealership group CEO notes that “a string of new electric vehicles will hit Australia in earnest from 2022.” Apparently, Jaguar and VW are ahead of the pack. Auto clubs are investing in charging stations. The NRMA in NSW is building a network of 40.
“There is a proposal to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in Townsville.”
The advent of EVs raises some tantalising challenges for industry and Government alike, quite apart from preserving the weekend and getting to building sites. While the prospect of EVs being constructed in Australia is minimal, indeed on any large scale, Wiggins and Evans report that there is a proposal to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in Townsville.
“Western Australia will be producing half of the world’s lithium”
Darren Gray in the SMH and The Age reports that Western Australia will be producing half of the world’s lithium by the end of 2019. “One of the world’s largest lithium mines” is about to start production and expects to ship its first order in June.
Whoever comprises the Federal Government over the decade ahead will be tasked with supporting investment in charging infrastructure (now that both major parties are on the same page). With the hit in revenue from the decline in fuel excise, which is already happening – it really is an opportune time for Australia to embrace this new market and lessen the impact of revenue declines in fuel by developing new and emerging technology.
With our resources to produce the lithium batteries that are going to be in demand worldwide it is really a no brainer not to enter the fray sooner rather than later.
There may be a final high in the last days of the petrol car industry – It’s doubtful that it will disappear completely - but inhaling the last of the fumes of an industry that is nearing extinction is only prolonging the inevitable.
With Australia at the polls in only a few days, it will be interesting to see how we vote, if we travel down the old road and cling to petrol a while longer or show some progression and adapt and adopt a new technology.
Andrew Bowden and Sam Bloch
16 May 2019