Minister for Energy and Climate Change Chris Bowen says Australia’s car manufacturing industry could be reborn with a local electric vehicles sector to produce cars for local and international markets.
The comments were made at an energy forum in the US, where the minister recently test-drove an all-electric ute, which he declared “hugely” popular in the US but is unavailable in Australia because of “poor policies.”
Speaking to the media last week, Bowen told The Australian Financial Review Australia can make electric vehicles, after the death of the automotive industry in 2017.
“Not only do I think that, so do the electric vehicle manufacturers,” he said.
“There’s work to do to make that more viable in Australia, but the economics of an electric vehicle are a lot different to the economics of making internal combustion engine [cars].”
“We have a range of policies which no doubt will be looked at in due course. I believe we can make key components of electric vehicles and indeed electric vehicles totally in Australia.”
Speaking to the media, Bowen said a range of policies will be looked at in due course.
“Australia and Russia are the only two developed countries without fuel efficiency standards – that’s something that will be discussed.”
Australian Tesla chair Robyn Denholm recently spoke at the national press club, suggesting Australia should play a role in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle and battery manufacturing sector.
Recently, Australia’s first lithium-ion battery giga-factory came a step closer to realisation with the conclusion of Energy Renaissance’s pilot program. The facility will house over 700 employees and initially produce up to 300-megawatt hours of energy storage annually, scaling to 5.3-gigawatt hours of energy storage per year via its ground-breaking battery system. When in operation, the facility is expected to contribute $97.5 million to the Australian economy.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also stated that she would back an EV factory if Tesla decided to build one in the Sunshine State. In July, the Albanese Government made electric vehicle tax cuts one of its first orders of business, hoping to further encourage EV take-up across Australia.