As the electric vehicle transition begins to pick up pace in Australia, we have launched a weekly feature to give you a round up of what’s happened each week in the local EV industry and community.
And there’s a lot happening, with a focus this week on pulling apart the discouragement of electric vehicles, rather than encouragement, that EV taxes proposed by state governments would impose.
Meanwhile, AEVA’s yearly EV expo has gone online with the EV Vision conference to discuss the transition in Australia, while Brisbane airport gets a new fast charger and a driverless shuttle trial.
Week ending November 20, 2020
The Victorian Labor government followed the example of the South Australia Liberal government and announced the imposition of an electric vehicle road tax from July next year, and was immediately labelled “shameful”.
This was swiftly met with strong opposition with industry stakeholders, such as the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), saying EV taxes are “backwards” and “will kill off” the fledgling EV industry.
Victoria then released details of its EV road user charge, but arguments about whether it is fair continued to abound.
The preliminary findings of a University of Queensland study into the effect of taxing electric vehicles (EVs), without introducing incentives to buy them, finds that EV sales will be hit hard, resulting in a 25 per cent fall in new EVs and much higher emissions.
The UQ study says that sales of EVs out to 2050 could be 25 per cent below the federal government’s “business as usual” scenarios, resulting in up to 10 million fewer EVs on the road.
FCAI applauds the ACT’s future-focus approach to encouraging electric vehicles
“The announcement by the ACT Government is like a breath of fresh air,” FCAI boss Weber said on Friday.
“And it demonstrates a government that is focused on the future health and environmental benefits that this new technology can bring.
“While other governments have short-sightedly settled for a quick cash grab and taxed zero and low emission vehicles (ZLEVs), the ACT government has developed a long term vision to encourage their adoption.
“It is heartening to see the smaller states, like the ACT and Tasmania, lead the way in boosting the adoption of ZLEVs in Australia. If only the larger states like New South Wale, South Australia and Victoria had their foresight,” Weber said.
Evie Networks opens fast chargers at Brisbane Airport
Evie Networks opened its newest fast charging site at Brisbane Airport to give commercial fleet and ride share operators the confidence to make the shift to electric vehicles.
It has four fast chargers, and is optimally located to serve vehicles transiting between Brisbane Airport and the CBD with easy access to Evie’s charging stations on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and to the west.
Founder of St Baker Energy Innovation Fund which backs Evie Networks, Trevor St Baker, says he is hopeful the move will encourage more ride share drivers and businesses to move to more sustainable transport.
RACQ trials driverless smart shuttle
The RACQ Smart Shuttle hits the streets in Queensland again for second on-road trial at Raby Bay in Redland City Council.
— RACQ (@RACQOfficial) November 26, 2020
First Tesla-only time trial for electric cars announced
A first in Australia, and thought to be also for the world, an all-electric Tesla time trial has been announced by Sydney’s Luddenham raceway.
Named the The Stake x Tesla Owners’ EV TT Series, it is backed by Tesla Owners Club of Australia and Stake, a digital stock trading platform.
Giles Parkinson talks to MG, which has launched its first electric car in Australia and has big ambitions, and test drives the ZS EV.
At the 2020 EV Vision Conference:
Emma Sutcliffe, The Idle Off Project
“Essentially at its core (The Idle Off Project) is a free program for student to mitigate the risks of idling vehicles in their school grounds.”
“I’d sit in a carpark of 40-50 parents majority of which were in diesel SUVs – they’d sit in the car for 25-30 minutes, park in sun, roll windows up and leave engine running.”
“To my mind it’s just insane – it’s all places where we come to protect our children but …. kids would head out of school and head to carpark of cars and buses which were all idling – and chuck their bags in the back where they get a lung full of diesel emissions.”
Michael Lord, Beyond Zero Emissions
“There are many hundreds of mines in Australia and its a big source of emissions,” says Lord.
“Big miners are recognising this as a problem.” He congratulates BHP and Fortescue Metals.
“They’re going to need to remove diesel… particularly in underground mines. There are electric alternative for virtually all types of mining equipment.”
“What we need is policies to accelerate electrification of mines, he says adding that in BZE’s million jobs plan they see as much as 20,000 jobs, in building, assembling and retrofitting mining equipment.
How are fast charging locations chosen?
Andrew Simpson, Evie Networks: Our approach to network planning was quite simple – we know what the other are doing, trying to strike a balance but also not overcapitalising in places that won’t get much use in near term.
Marty Andrews, Chargefox: When we began, the problem we were trying to solve was to connect the major cities – this has been addressed. With Covid, lots of state government support is now to encourage people to go to regions. We also have forms on the website if you want to let us know.
Carola Jonas, Everty: I’m a big advocate for street chargers in inner city – connecting cities is important but urban centres is important too.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.