ABC Radio South Australia - Labor's Climate Action Plan

April 01, 2019






SUBJECTS: Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan; electric cars.


NARELLE GRAHAM, HOST: Will we also see upgrades of these freight routes under a Labor Government as in what I was just talking to Tony Pasin about?

PAT CONROY: That’s a question for Anthony Albanese, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure. A lot of the details we are only seeing through drops to newspapers so we’ll see what’s in the Budget and then we will respond accordingly.

GRAHAM: How do you intend to get there with this majority of electric cars, or 50% of electric cars by 2025? So what sort of incentives will be offered?

CONROY: Our policy has a few parts to it. By 2025, 50% of the Government’s vehicle fleet will be electric and our goal is by 2030 half of new car sales will be for electric vehicles. And we’ll be doing that through a variety of mechanisms. Firstly, for fleet users we’ll be investing in the Australian Industry Guarantee, which means that fleet purchasers can write off 20% of the cost of buying new electric vehicles straight away. And when you include the 12.5% that you get to write off normally, that means 32.5% will be written off on a new electric vehicle. That will make electric vehicles cheaper for fleet users. Secondly, we’ll be reforming COAG to make it easier to use electric vehicles, and thirdly we’ll be driving $200 million of investment in electric vehicle recharging infrastructure around the country so people can recharge their electric vehicles. And we’ll also be implementing fleet-wide vehicle emissions standards that will give electric vehicles a leg up. So, all this is aimed at increasing electric vehicle usage in Australia. We’ve got the lowest penetration of electric vehicles in the OECD. New Zealand physically has more electric vehicles than we do and obviously we are a much larger country than New Zealand.

GRAHAM: What would a petrol station look like in 2025, do you think?

CONROY: Some petrol stations are realising that they need to switch over and are investing in electric vehicle charging points. You also have standalone electric vehicle charging points by roads, and obviously motorists can also charge at home overnight or during the middle of the day when they are not needing those vehicles. These are all the questions that we have to embrace. When I talk to the large vehicle manufacturing companies they’re very open in the fact that they are not designing new internal combustion models. What they’re doing is designing electric vehicles, like a battery electric vehicle or hydrogen electric vehicles, and then they might use some of those designs for internal combustion engines. But a lot of countries around the world have set dates for banning internal combustion engines. We’re not doing that. But that behaviour, particularly in Europe, is driving vehicle manufacturers to put all their research dollars into electric vehicles.

GRAHAM: Pat Conroy, Andrew on the text line is asking if you keep your older car, you know you need a big, old ute to drag things around, will you be penalised?

CONROY: No. This is all about increasing demand and incentives for electric vehicles. This does not impact on anyone who owns a vehicle currently and none of this will prevent anyone buying an internal combustion engine vehicle if that is what they are interested in doing. This is about growing the market for electric vehicles and reducing carbon emissions in the transport sector, which is about 20% of Australia’s carbon pollution.