Roads Australia (RA) has welcomed the release of Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy, which encourages cross-jurisdictional collaboration and provides incentives to grow the nation’s EV fleet.

The release of the National EV Strategy by the Federal Government, plans to provide a major boost in decarbonising the transport sector.

RA CEO, Michael Kilgariff, said RA has been actively engaging with governments and industry over recent years to help distil the various challenges and opportunities associated with EV uptake in Australia. 

“The outcomes of this engagement were reflected in RA’s submission to the Federal Government, which contained recommendations to help design a strategy that would accelerate transition of the nation’s energy networks and vehicle fleet,” Mr Kilgariff said.

“It is most encouraging to see that the strategy released places a heavy emphasis on ensuring this transition is nationally coordinated and closely aligned with the transition of the energy sector itself to clean and renewable sources of energy.

“These core objectives are central to making certain transitions occur in a way that maximises productivity benefits and helps to establish new industries and employment opportunities for Australians, as we move to a net zero economy.”

Mr Kilgariff said RA also welcomes the commitment to develop Australia’s first Fuel Efficiency Standard as a vital step to increase the supply of EVs in the Australian market. 

“The absence of such a standard has acted as a disincentive to EV manufacturers, who to date have focused attention on more mature markets,” Mr Kilgariff said.

“A well-designed Fuel Efficiency Standard will address this, and provide Australians with greater choice in zero emission vehicles across different price points and different vehicle categories.

“The strategy’s commitment to working with the states and territories to aggregate government fleet vehicle purchasing will be another important mechanism in growing the EV market. 

“Government, rental and business fleets make up almost half of all new vehicles purchased in Australia, and growing EV share in this segment will also help build a sustainable second-hand market which can be accessed by private consumers.”

Mr Kilgariff said RA is also pleased to see the strategy commits to developing further tools to overcome other barriers to EV uptake, by supporting co-planning of charging with energy system investments, addressing challenges with installing charging infrastructure in existing multi-residential buildings and preparing for a recycling, reuse and stewardship initiative for EV and other large format batteries.

“Our industry looks forward to engaging in the next phase of the strategy’s delivery. This includes active participation in consultations on the development of the Fuel Efficiency Standard, and continuing to explore efficient ways to strengthen links between road-related revenue and road-related investment,” Mr Kilgariff said.

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