22 November 2021

What should have been in Morrison's EV plan

| Ian Bushnell
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Rob Ogilvie

Australian Electric Vehicle Association ACT branch chair Rob Ogilvie: “If you imagine we’re in the Stawell Gift, three-quarters of the way to the finish line, they haven’t even heard the starter’s gun go off.” Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The Morrison Government’s electric vehicle policy has been dismissed as a token gesture to get it through the next election rather than a serious attempt to take Australia into a zero-emissions transport future.

Australian Electric Vehicle Association ACT branch chair Rob Ogilvie said that while the $250 million plan’s boost to charging infrastructure was welcome, without measures to increase the range of models available in the Australian market and bring down the cost of EVs, uptake would remain low despite Australians screaming out for the new technology.

ACT Emissions Reductions Minister Shane Rattenbury said the Future Fuels Strategy was a missed opportunity to reduce the cost and uptake of EVs and accelerate the transition to clean transport.

Mr Ogilvie said the Federal Government appeared to have turned a deaf ear to what should be done.

This included adopting fuel efficiency standards like those in Europe and the US, the axing of taxes on EVs such as the 5 per cent excise on vehicles imported from the UK, and the luxury car tax.

Mr Oglivie said a fuel efficiency standard would create an incentive for carmakers to bring EVs into the Australian market, instead of dumping dirty old tech here.

“Australia doesn’t have that and we’re fast becoming a dumping ground for the older models,” he said.

READ ALSO Nearly a million square metres of ACT roads to be repaired with new recycled material this summer

Mr Oglivie said developing a used EV market with cheaper price points would spark uptake dramatically but market rules were inhibiting EV imports.

He said more incentives for EV uptake in government and corporate fleets would also provide a supply of vehicles to the used car market.

Mr Oglivie said Australia was in danger of falling way behind the rest of the world.

“If you imagine we’re in the Stawell Gift, three-quarters of the way to the finish line, they haven’t even heard the starter’s gun go off,” he said.

The Federal Government should also be looking at the re-establishment of car making in Australia, which has the talent and raw materials to manufacture EVs using robotic production lines, Mr Ogilvie said.

Mr Rattenbury said the federal plan was a missed opportunity that will cost Australians dearly as they continue to miss out on new, more affordable electric vehicle models and instead position Australia as a dumping ground for inefficient vehicles.

“The Federal Government seems to have finally admitted that electric vehicles are not going to ‘wreck the weekend’ and have moved on to pretending they never made this outrageous claim,” he said.

“But the Future Fuels Strategy fails to take the next important step of introducing meaningful measures to support the transition to zero-emissions vehicles.”

Emissions Reduction Minister Shane Rattenbury

Emissions Reduction Minister Shane Rattenbury with an electric vehicle: fuel efficiency standards and a national electric vehicles sales target is critical. Photo: File.

Mr Rattenbury supported the push for fuel-efficiency standards as a way to encourage cleaner cars on our roads and accelerate the shift to zero-emissions vehicles.

He welcomed the commitment to fund charging infrastructure, saying it will help deliver rapid chargers on major routes across Australia to enable quick charging on long journeys.

“I also welcome the focus on heavy vehicles and hope that this funding will help to decarbonise our freight sector,” Mr Rattenbury said.

But he said national leadership was sorely needed to support states and territories’ efforts and help make this transition quicker and more efficient.

“National policies such as fuel efficiency standards and a national electric vehicles sales target are critical for this transition as we have observed in other leading countries such as Norway,” he said.

The federal EV plan comes as the ACT Government considers its next steps to increase EV uptake to reduce transport emissions.

Deloitte Access Economics has been engaged to assess the impact of government EV policies, as outlined in the Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement.

These include requiring charging infrastructure for multi-unit residential and commercial buildings as part of planning review proposals, a target for new zero-emissions vehicle sales by 2030 in the ACT, establishing an advisory service to support businesses and community organisations transition their fleets, and developing a masterplan for the installation of 50 new publicly accessible charging stations.

An EPSDD spokesperson said the assessment would assist the development of the 2030 ZEV sales target.

Mr Rattenbury said the Electric Vehicles Charging Masterplan was being finalised and will soon deliver the 50 public vehicle charging stations across the ACT.

“Our incentives of two years’ free registration and stamp duty exemption are helping to drive an increase in uptake of zero-emissions vehicles, with a 34 per cent increase in zero-emissions vehicles on ACT roads since these measures were introduced in May 2021,” he said.

In addition, $15,000 no-interest loans to purchase an EV will be available from early next year through the next phase of the Sustainable Household Scheme.

Deloitte Access Economics is expected to provide a final report and recommendations by 17 February next year.

As of Monday (8 November), there are 1414 battery EVs registered in the ACT and 527 plug-in hybrids.

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I wrote to Senator Seselja on 1st December 2021 asking for details on how to access funds from this initiative. This was passed on to the Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor. He replied today with… “Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will likely invite aggregators and businesses to propose projects to manage the impact of electric vehicles charging on the grid using household smart charging technology.” So nothing so far.

Capital Retro,
Thanks for providing a link showing that EVs have significantly lower emissions over their life cycles.

And that if electricity generation had a much higher percentage of renewables, the lower emissions from EVs would be even further ahead compared to high emission ICE vehicles.

Straight information from your own article. We’ll done, good to see you backing EVs and renewable energy.

A Nonny Mouse8:15 pm 11 Nov 21

Yet 1) Volvo has committed to using steel made with hydrogen rather than coal as the reductant for iron ore and 2) an EV quickly pays back the extra emissions from production through not burning fossil fuel every moment it is used. A petrol car can never get cleaner. An EV only gets cleaner as the grid gets cleaner.

There are a couple of glaringly obvious issues, and I speak as an Electrical Engineer.
(1)man made catastrophic climate change has no factual base in science. Its a purely political construct.
(2) It’s clear no engineers were consulted – making everyone drive EVs will double the load on the grid and the grid wont cope without significant expenditure. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
(3) Too much solar on a grid destablizes it.

So renewables are ok in small amounts, but anything significant has a major impact and has not been thought through

Capital Retro10:33 pm 10 Nov 21

Climate scientists good
Engineers bad.

stevew77, while you are onto something with points 2 and 3, the scientists at the CSIRO would say you are wrong with point 1.

If you’re an electrical engineer, I worry for the education system because:

1. You are completely wrong, all scientific evidence is to the contrary.

2.Engineers are involved every step of the way of working through problems and developing solutions. If you truly were an engineer, you would know this.

3. Plainly incorrect for anyone with a modicum of knowledge in the area. Too much electricity generation in any network can cause issues, regardless of the source. And the problem you are actually referring to is only really related to small scale home solar which can be addressed through better network management, localised energy storages or preferencing large scale renewables which are far more economically viable.

A Nonny Mouse8:19 pm 11 Nov 21

The climate science is beyond any kind of reasonable doubt. Many diverse lines of evidence all point the same way.
So long as people avoid the evening peak, we have ample generation and distribution capacity. Peak demand charges or Time of Use tariffs provide the incentive to charge at other times. I have my car’s charge settings set to avoid the evening peak demand tariff and only charge during the day to soak up surplus solar.

Capital Retro5:57 pm 10 Nov 21

Remember that song “The Answer is Blowing in the Wind” by Peter Paul and Mary?


The roll out of EVs has to be slow and steady and the costs apportioned only to their owner/users.

Tom Worthington2:53 pm 10 Nov 21

Even Toyota have now been forced to take electric vehicles seriously. Used intelligently they can help, rather than threaten, the electricity grid, speeding the the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The resale value for EVs will improve as batteries get more robust. They also are becoming more practical as you can get a week’s driving out of less than an hour of charging. Tesla in its early days were worried their would fry a celebrity customer, but lithium batteries have proved remarkably reliable. The industry will have to adjust to not making so much money on servicing. But Australia will need to invest in mining and refining of the rare elements needed for batteries and motors. We have huge potential supplies, but they take a lot of processing and investment. My suggestion is that Australia can adopt the solar shed, plugged into the electric Ute. 😉 https://blog.highereducationwhisperer.com/2021/04/will-electric-ute-save-grid.html

EV batteries are expensive and have a limited number of charge cycles, so why would anyone other than a pointy headed professor waste their charge cycles supplying the grid, which would greatly reduce the life of their EV battery?

Probably for the same reason that nearly every other service is provided by one party to another.

For money.

Chewy14, as long as that money covers the cost of early replacement of the EV battery, without more government subsidies, and as long as everyone is aware of the reduced EV battery life beforehand.

A Nonny Mouse8:23 pm 11 Nov 21

I have owed electric cars that I sold still performing the same as new when they were 8 years, 9 years or 5 years old. I am confident that my current 2019 electric car will be performing well for decades.

So funny, Greens calling for an end to the luxury car tax on EVs, currently only applied above the $80K threshold for fuel efficient vehicles, so their wealthy chardonnay sipping comrades can avoid taxes on their luxury purchase.

privatepublic9:20 am 10 Nov 21

The former Toyota CEO in 2019 stated that if Japan went EV overnight, they would use all the grid “six months in advance” and that is with the new nuclear power station coming online.

Resale value is already an issue for EVs and Hybrids. Many Teslas for sale with low KMs with excuses mostly of have “too many cars” or the reality is it was and probably is great to drive until you must park it and charge it for a better part of a day. Grey imported vehicles can be problematic as people discovered years ago, grey import of an EV/Hybrid even with so called reco batteries would end up with a battering.

Lithium Ion is great for your mobile/laptop yet to be proved reliable in the case of LG/others or the Dreamliner 787. My mobile gets hot when charging and my laptop which has the largest legal battery that can be taken on an airplane can hack only one-two hours when fully loaded. And contrary to misguided popular belief are very labour intensive if one talks of reconditioning – simply not economic now or in the future.

The other major issue is proven reserves of Lithium/Cobalt is not yet at a large enough capacity/hard to reach and is unlikely enough to service a complete change over to EV, especially heavy vehicles.

Finagen_Freeman6:50 pm 10 Nov 21

Eek. It’s been a while since you bought a laptop or studied battery technology.

LiPo4 runs 100s of thousands EVs daily. New chargers and battery technology sees 30 mins give 80% charge.

What kind of laptop only lasts two hours? My Apple MacBook runs 10 hours.

Revisit battery tech and you’ll see your concerns are no longer current.

privatepublic8:36 am 11 Nov 21

My lappie is a high end product that is under six months old. If used lightly 5-6 hours. When using graphics and other apps 1-2 hours is it. It has some serious cooling to keep the graphics, battery and main CPUs cool. It sounds like a jet taking off when run to the maximum.

Regarding “It’s been a while since you bought a laptop or studied battery technology” is long in the tooth is it not? My role requires me to keep abreast of current technologies. When a new non Lithium, preferably Aluminon battery makes it to market (still issues with miniaturisation), I could state we may have a winner without the difficult mining procedures, nasty byproducts and deposal of the current Li batteries.

Capital Retro8:30 am 10 Nov 21

It is pointless to install charging points in underground car parks given the imminent bans that will have to be introduced on EVs due to the risks an EV fire pose.


We are still struggling on how to deal with combustible panels on high rise buildings – insurance companies will have the final say in this, not governments.

One parking lot does something overseas.

“Imminent bans everywhere”


Capital Retro9:15 am 10 Nov 21

One case of COVID 19 reported 2019 in Wuhan, China.

Nothing to worry about, was there.


Oh, and i feel silly for not just immediately fact checking your clearly cherry picked link.

But I saw it on facebook?

Capital Retro10:30 am 11 Nov 21

Have you had that claim peer-reviewed, chewy?

Capital Retro,
Yes I have.

Perhaps you should go back to Google for some more searching:

“Why are EVs bad?”
“Why is renewable energy the devil?”.

All the usuals.

When an EV can do the Telegraph Track including wading 800mm of water, I might be interested

Exactly. Instead of forcing EV’s down our throats how about drilling our own oil for cheap diesel until hydrogen is an option. Australia is far too large and vast for EV’s to be an option.

Capital Retro9:31 am 10 Nov 21

Re diesel fuel, this is what happens when climate alarmism gets out of control;


A Nonny Mouse8:26 pm 11 Nov 21

I have seen video of EV wading through far deeper water. Stupid in any vehicle but possible.

Comparisons to European cities is pointless. They just don’t have the expanse of distance that we do in Australia. Yes, for the average city based Australian, an EV could makes sense. I’m not however convinced of the practicalities of EVs outside of the city, although ScoMo’s plan to fund charging stations is a step in the right direction.
My big concern with EVs is what the heck happens to all these cars when their batteries go poopy and need to be replaced? Will people pay the big dollars and replace the batteries in a 12 years old car or just scrap the car? An EV with a dying battery won’t have much of a resale value. For this reason, increased range and the very fast refill, I see Hydrogen as the future.
As for the ALP promising to make EVs cheaper, seriously a saving of only $2,000 and then we have State Governments wanting to tax the EV drivers based on their usage

A Nonny Mouse8:33 pm 11 Nov 21

The longest I have driven in a day in 30 years was early last year. It was over 800km from Coffs Harbour to Canberra. We did it in our 2019 Hyundai Kona EV. It was easy. It took no longer than we would have taken in a petrol car. We stopped every few hundred km for toilet, coffee or a meal. We plugged in to a fast DC charger each time for a partial top up. We never waited to charge to full. Over the time of these stops we would have had anyway, it added up to a complete charge. So, we readily drove almost twice the distance of our nominal range of 450km with no delays and arrive home with comfortable range remaining. Plugging in to an ordinary power point when home had us mostly recharged by the next morning.
People really want to make this sound harder than it is. I have been driving electric since 2009 and it has never been easier.

Whilst there is some merit to the calls more action in this space, is anyone really surprised that activists and industry rentseekers think they should be given more?

Capital Retro8:23 am 10 Nov 21

Exactly. The “race” for the free stuff is just like the Stawell Gift mentioned in the article.

EVs are already too expensive for the masses and the falling Australian Dollar will make them even more expensive.

Capital Retro,
I don’t like subsidies whether they are for fossil fuels or renewables.

Increasing emissions standards and having Carbon trading is far superior to allow technology to advance.

EV prices are constantly dropping and will continue to do so.

Capital Retro9:35 am 10 Nov 21

If you start spreading rumours that EVs are going to be cheaper people will stop buying them.

I am happy to assist you with that plan.

Agreed Chewy – very frustrating that genuine efforts haven’t been taken on emissions standards around vehicles – we are going to end up a dumping ground (already are to some degree) for the worst vehicles out there, especially as other markets thin with the transition towards EV.

Everyone tightened up those standards a long while ago – and that’s before you even consider fuel quality standards, where I understand Australia lags a long way behind too.

Upfront purchase subsidies for EVs are a waste of time at the current point – middle class welfare to a large degree given upfront purchase prices. Some areas could be improved – for instance reducing/removing luxury car tax where it applies to ZEVs, and thinking a little about some of the other tax settings more broadly. At least that is revenue foregone rather then government directly dishing out $ – and will also be far easier to remove when no longer needed.

Definitely agree on removing the luxury car tax. It previously was an attempt to prop up our local car manufacturing industry. Now that the industry doesn’t exist, what is it for?

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