National organisation will track EV sales and raise consumer awareness
A new national body aimed at increasing the uptake of EVs in Australia was officially launched in Canberra on Monday May 22.
The Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) is an industry-led organisation representing and coordinating the EV industry in Australia. According to a statement, it will represent companies involved in providing, powering and supporting electric vehicles in the country.
Attending the launch, Minister for Energy and Environment, Josh Frydenberg, also announced that the EVC would be supported by a A$390,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Members of the EVC include energy businesses, automakers and the associated supply chain. EVC lists companies including: ActewAGL, AGL Energy, Synergy; TransGrid; Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Tesla and Volkswagen Group; infrastructure businesses JET Charge and Lennock Fleet, and NGO groups such as ClimateWorks Australia.
Collectively, it said, its members sell over 350,000 new vehicles per year in Australia, and have over 6 million Australian customers.
In a statement, Electric Vehicle Council chair, Behyad Jafari, suggested that Australia had lagged behind other nations in EV adoption, and hoped that the Council would go some way towards redressing this. “While the global industry grows exponentially each year, Australia continues to miss out,” he said. “Addressing the barriers preventing the mass uptake of electric vehicles in Australia requires a consistent and collaborative effort across a range of sectors.”
Seemingly the Council will consult on key measures to drive EV uptake, including emission standards. “Key policy measures [also] include incentivising electric vehicle purchase in the short term as the technology works to meet price parity through upfront incentives and taxation measures, as well as establishing a recommended roadmap for national public charging infrastructure,” Jafari added.
ClimateWorks Australia head of implementation, Scott Ferraro, said that the council will also publish an annual “state of electric vehicles” report allowing government and consumers to monitor progress in the industry.
Despite boosting infrastructure provision, Australia has a massive task on its hands if it is to boost EV usage. According to recent figures, Just 138 battery EVs were sold in the country in 2016, less than half the 294 sold in 2015, and still a tiny fraction of the 1.2 million sold overall (although the figures do not include Tesla sales). Hybrid sales also fell to about 560.
Evidently the Electric Vehicle Council will have its work cut out if it wants these statistics to improve during 2017.