A Shorten Labor Government will future-proof Australia’s road networks so they can support the uptake of electric vehicles – creating a $200 million fund to rollout charging infrastructure across the country.
Cleaner cars and transport aren’t just good for the environment – they are cheaper to run. But Australia lags behind our competitor countries, whether it’s in electric vehicle take-up, or vehicle fuel efficiency. We have ten times lower electric vehicle take-up than the global average, and we’re at risk of being left behind.
That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will provide overdue leadership and policy to catch Australia up and save motorists at the bowser – with a national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030.
To support this target, Labor will invest $100 million in the rollout of charging stations across the country.
This will be in the form of a grant program to match industry as well as state and local government proposals – building up to a $200 million fund in total – to deliver around 200 fast charging stations.
Labor’s $200 million fund will target rural and regional Australia and Australia’s most critical road corridors to encourage the take up of electric vehicles.
Locations for regional fast chargers will be carefully chosen to complement – not duplicate – current and proposed charger locations, and target key regional routes and destinations where providing charging points may not be merited solely on commercial grounds.
This would not only give regional communities and businesses, including freight operators, greater access to affordable charging facilitates, it would also be good for regional tourism.
A properly constructed national charging network would unlock millions of tonnes of carbon emission reductions. Long-distance highway travel accounts for 15 per cent of vehicle kilometres travelled in Australia, or about 2.8 billion litres of fuel consumption and 6.5 million tonnes of C02 emissions annually, or 65 million tonnes over the decade to 2030.
This announcement builds on Labor’s electric vehicle policy – a comprehensive plan to work with Australia’s transport sector to cut vehicle emissions, boost adoption of electric vehicles and help Australians save on their petrol bills.
Labor’s strategy will include:
- A national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030 – The global transition to electric vehicles is well underway, but the Liberals’ failure to deliver credible climate change and electric vehicle policies means Australia is now last among western counties for electric vehicle uptake. Incredibly, New Zealand has more electric vehicles than Australia. Setting a national target will deliver more affordable electric vehicles into the Australian market and drive the switch to electric vehicles, reducing their cost, creating thousands of jobs and cutting pollution.
- Set a government electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of new purchases and leases of passenger vehicles by 2025 – This government fleet target will send a strong signal to the global industry that we expect cost competitive vehicles to be available for the Australian market. Government electric vehicle fleets will also be important in developing a second hand market. Labor will work towards requiring all Commonwealth‑owned-and-leased office buildings to include the provision of charging infrastructure where appropriate.
- Growing private electric vehicle fleets: Labor will allow businesses an upfront tax deduction to purchase electric vehicles for business purposes, as part of Labor’s announced Australian Investment Guarantee. We will allow businesses to immediately deduct 20 per cent depreciation for EV vehicles valued at more than $20,000 as part of private fleets
- Regulatory reforms and COAG agenda: Labor will establish an electric vehicle COAG agenda to improve coordination of electric vehicle take-up and related infrastructure planning. Labor will also require all federally-funded road upgrades to incorporate electric vehicle charging infrastructure, work with states to ensure new and refurbished commercial and residential developments include electric vehicle charging capacity, promote national standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and ensure investment in public charging stations meet these standards.
Labor also has an electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing strategy and will work with industry to create new job opportunities with the transition.
As part of our focus on cleaner and cheaper transportation, Labor will also work with industry to introduce vehicle emissions standards, to save Australian motorists hundreds of dollars each year at the bowser while driving down pollution on our roads.
After six years of chaos, uncertainty and rising pollution under the Liberals, Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy – that’s what our plan delivers.
A Shorten Labor Government will deliver cleaner transport, build the road infrastructure needed for the future and help motorists save on soaring petrol bills.
More information is available at https://www.alp.org.au/climate_change_action_plan
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.