29 March 2021

Greens pledge to subsidise electric vehicles through $50 million fund

| Dominic Giannini
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Two electric vehicles charging.

The ACT Greens will introduce a $50 million electric vehicle fund if re-elected in October’s ACT election. Photo: File.

A $50 million fund will aim to incentivise Canberrans to purchase new electric vehicles, including up to $10,000 subsidies and travel incentives, as the ACT Greens push for more ambitious clean energy targets ahead of the ACT election in October.

A new 90-per-cent target of new car sales to be zero-emission by 2030 would be introduced, while public transport, garbage trucks, taxis and ride-share vehicles will transition to zero-emission by 2035, said the Greens.

Currently, the cheapest electric cars in Australia are just under $50,000.

More electric vehicle charging stations will also be introduced across the ACT and a push will be made to bring the electric car industry into the Territory.

READ ALSO The best places to buy electric cars in Canberra

“This is a bold plan that will make the ACT the electric vehicle capital [of Australia] within a decade,” said Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, and ACT Greens leader, Shane Rattenbury.

“It is what we need to address climate change, but also to give ACT residents and businesses the advantages of electric vehicles that other countries are already enjoying. They create no greenhouse gas emissions, no tailpipe pollution, and are also good for consumers, being significantly cheaper to run and maintain.

“It will make the ACT the national leader – and a world leader – in clean, green transport. It will even bring employment and educational opportunities as we establish the leading electric vehicle industry in Australia.”

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury.

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury will establish a $50 million electric vehicle fund if re-elected. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Transport Canberra is already planning to transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. Additionally, all ACT Government vehicles will be electric by 2021.

Currently, 63 per cent of the ACT’s emissions come from vehicles. Mr Rattenbury says a lack of government support has left Australians on the back foot when it comes to electric vehicles, as the ACT looks for ways to achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2045.

“Our policy will turn this around, making electric vehicles more available, affordable and convenient,” he said. “In a decade, driving an electric vehicle will be the norm in Canberra, even for commercial businesses.”

The ACT Government announced it would be trialling how electric vehicles can improve energy resilience during peak demand times by providing power from their batteries back into the grid in July.

The $6.6 million trial will see the ACT Government purchase 50 new Nissan LEAF bi-directional vehicles, and it will run until the end of 2022.

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Leon Arundell9:04 am 30 Oct 20

A $10,000 electric vehicle subsidy will cost of about $200 per tonne of emissions reduction.
I suspect this is poor value. There’s a useful discussion at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-28/fact-check-direct-action-vs-carbon-tax/6847234.
Here’s how I made my estimate:
A typical 2020 model car causes 200 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometre, and travels 13,400 km per year. Over a 20 year lifetime it will cause 54 tonnes of emissions.
$10,000 divided by 54 tonnes equals $185/tonne.

Capital Retro9:58 pm 07 Sep 20

“Various government policies helped create markets for solar power….”.

That’s code for taxpayer funded subsidies.

HiddenDragon6:20 pm 07 Sep 20

“….as we establish the leading electric vehicle industry in Australia.”

So where will Elon have his Canberra factory? – or does “industry” perhaps mean that one or both of the recycling plants on the cards for Fyshwick might one day be able to recycle EV batteries, or parts thereof? If it simply means trade – i.e. selling and maybe servicing imported technology, then the policy should say so.

In the absence of hard details about ongoing benefits in the form of economically sustainable jobs, this looks like a green-washed bribe to well-heeled virtue-signallers – which will be funded in part by the rates and taxes of people who could not dream of paying in the region of $50,000 for a vehicle.

A Nonny Mouse6:39 pm 10 Sep 20

One of the most commonly used DC fast chargers is made by Australian company, Tritium.

Capital Retro6:15 pm 07 Sep 20

In the 1990s the Greens wanted a Volvo Environmental Concept Car in every garage.

The Volvo Polestar is yet to be released in Australia. It will cost over $70K. A Camry Hybrid is much better value.

Martyn .. re your ” to sufficiently cool an EV following an engine fire… before… it can be towed away… you will need… a thermal camera and… 18,900L of water…”
Recently on SBS there was a show on battery powered racing vehicles. They were being packed up from wherever to be flown to somewhere for the next race meeting.
What was interesting was the time and effort put into making the batteries safe, well hopefully safe.
Even after they were ‘flattened somehow, they were treated like plutonium, and then the airline had detectors around them just in case they erupted into flames. Even the bloke on the forklift loading them onto the plane had the heeby jeebies.
It was the first time I’d seen how these batteries need to be handled.
A pile up on the Parkway with charged batteries would be most interesting.

A tank full of petrol is pretty damn flammable too.

A Nonny Mouse6:41 pm 10 Sep 20

There are more ICE car fires than EV fires relative to their numbers on the road.

Capital Retro7:25 am 11 Sep 20

A petrol tank will only ignited from another source.

EV batteries are prone to self-ignite.

Capital Retro6:12 pm 11 Sep 20

Details of that please ANM?

$50 million is about the yearly rates from 16,000 Canberra households.

The Greens are just the ‘idealistic’ cattle prod the Labor and Liberal parties need to do anything they would eventually do 5 years down the track anyway…..well 15 years for the Libs. Unfortunately its not a swing away from the Greens that Labor need to worry about this election.

In a country the size of Australia, hydrogen is the way of the future.

A Nonny Mouse1:43 pm 08 Sep 20

Hydrogen is a very inefficient way to use electricity but might have niche roles. I doubt it is viable for ordinary passenger vehicles that work well and more efficiently as battery electrics. For more detail, see here: https://aeva.asn.au/articles/some-thoughts-on-fuel-cell-hydrogen-vehicles/

Capital Retro11:21 am 07 Sep 20

Let’s hope and pray (while it is still legal to do so) that Labor win an absolute majority this time so they can bin all this idealistic green nonsense.

Typical of the greens. Talk about a ‘just transition’ but then going throwing huge amounts of money at early adopters of Electric Vehicles, who are most likely to be very well off households already. $5K or $10K or whatever won’t suddenly make a 50K car (which are very much base model vehicles) affordable for a significant proportion of ACT households. But rich households who can already afford the EV will enjoy their nice little taxpayer funded subsidy I’m sure.

While I like electric vehicles and what they bring, we shouldn’t be pissing money up the wall just to make ourselves feel better and all warm and fuzzy inside. Once they reach price parity, the market itself will naturally deliver substantially increased uptake.

The real focus of government should be on making sure we are ‘electric vehicle ready’. Identifying areas where private sector wont deliver required support for EVs (charging infrastructure etc where there is a true market failure), and ensuring residential properties are required to provide at least passive provision for EV charging in some form.

A Nonny Mouse1:41 pm 08 Sep 20

Note that this will help people buy a cheaper used electric car, not just a new $50K car. The things you note as ‘the real focus’ are also parts of the policy.

Fundmentally though it is a subsidy for people that don’t need it. Middle class welfare. Call it what it is.

If the Greens were serious about doing things on the second hand side (i.e. affordable vehicles) – that is where the policy should be focused. The changes at C/W level already mean grey importing will become a reality. Why not spend that pool of money on getting 1000 used EVs in from Japan that can be sold at reasonable prices. At least then the benefit might get beyond those with plenty of dough.

And they are incidental elements of the policy….. and knowing how greens go about it, it won’t be done on a ‘needs basis’, it’ll be blanket dribble like ‘there must be x chargers in every suburb or whatever’….

A Nonny Mouse6:53 pm 10 Sep 20

The policy is aimed at used EVs as well. There are several businesses set up to simplify and manage imports of used Japanese EVs and they might get a lot more business if this policy is enacted.

Capital Retro9:08 am 07 Sep 20

What is a “Nissan LEAF bi-directional vehicle”?

I have a 20 year old Mitsubishi petrol vehicle and it runs in forward and reverse too.

Refers to the battery… it can both take energy from the grid as well as put energy back into the grid. Very poorly worded in the article/announcement.

Capital Retro3:40 pm 08 Sep 20

Thanks for that JS9, I surely had no idea about that. There must be a point where a limit on how much energy can be exported to the grid will be exceeded and what are the consequences of that?

The grid wasn’t designed for this.
Also, if half-the population is driving EVs in 10 years time and they all charge them overnight, where is the renewable energy going to come from to manage that?

No doubt there are some very highly paid network engineers out there trying to answer those pertinent questions CR. Distributed battery storage can solve part of it, but there is going to need to be some serious transition of the network over time if this is the way we are headed.

A Nonny Mouse6:59 pm 10 Sep 20

Lots of articles on vehicle to grid here: https://thedriven.io/?s=vehicle+to+grid
The idea is that many plugged in electric cars can provide grid services in much the same way as one big battery can. A variant is vehicle to home, whereby a fraction of the capacity of the battery might carry a house through the expensive evening peak.

Capital Retro6:15 pm 11 Sep 20

I bring a trailer load of firewood (renewal energy) home every time I go to the bush and that gets me through weeks of expensive evening peaks.

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