Motor vehicles hold a special place in the heart of Australians – from a farmer’s trusty ute and the cherished family sedan, to the large road trains travelling thousands of kilometres to make essential deliveries across Australia. The cars, SUVs, vans and trucks on our roads – and the fuels that power them – keep Australians connected and our economy running.
Road transport vehicles are currently undergoing a step change in technology. These low and zero emission vehicle technologies will, over time, reshape the way we drive.
Our Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy sets out our vision to accelerate the uptake of these technologies. It will create the environment that enables consumer choice, stimulates industry growth, creates Australian jobs and reduces emissions in the transport sector. This is underpinned by the $2.1 billion the Australian Government has committed for new vehicle technologies and related charging, manufacturing and recycling projects.
We will implement this strategy based on 3 principles, which also supports our plan to deliver net zero by 2050:
- Partnering with the private sector to support uptake and stimulate co-investment in future fuel technologies.
- Focusing on reducing barriers to the rollout of future fuel technologies, not taxes.
- Expanding consumer choice by enabling informed choices and minimising costs of integration into the grid.
Partnering with industry will be key to increase uptake of hybrid, hydrogen, electric and bio-fuelled vehicles. The government will focus on supporting consumer choice by getting the enabling environment ready for motorists. This includes backing even more infrastructure and ensuring our electricity grid is ready for increased uptake. Industry will do what it does best by continuing to innovate and improve to lower costs, which will make new technologies cost-competitive with existing alternatives.
Like we saw with our world-leading rooftop solar uptake, we know that when new technologies reach price parity, Australians rapidly adopt them. Australians are already making this choice as prices continue to fall. For example, the Electric Vehicle Council has reported 8,688 battery electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid sales in the first 6 months of 2021, which is 26% higher than the whole of 2020.
By expanding the already successful Future Fuels Fund to $250 million, we will be able to support an even bigger rollout of enabling infrastructure in urban and regional Australia. This will add to the over 400 charging stations the government has already backed through the fund. The fund will include more support for business fleets and new technologies for long-distance and heavy duty vehicles. We will also co-invest with households to utilise smart chargers that will boost the reliability of local electricity networks.
We will bring forward priority market reforms to energy ministers that will ensure our grid is EV-ready. We must take action on this to avoid millions of dollars of network costs being passed on to consumers, keeping the lights on and bills low for all Australians. This strategy will ensure we get ahead of the curve.
The government’s partnership with industry will stimulate almost half a billion dollars of public and private sector investment. Our strategy is the next example of our Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan in action. It reinforces our approach to reduce emissions the Australian way through technology, not taxes, while continuing to drive our economy forward.