Greens announce policy to boost electric car uptake


news The Australian Greens have launched a plan to encourage the rollout of electric vehicles and move away from “old dirty power sources”.

Launching the plan in Strathfield, Sydney, the party’s leader Senator Richard Di Natale said Australia needed to get behind “clean, innovative transport options”.

“Electric vehicles are rapidly coming down in price. With solar panels on our roof, charging our batteries for our home and car, free daily transport is at our fingertips,” he said. “

The Australian Greens want to increase the adoption of electric vehicles and encourage the growing electric vehicle industry by promoting free registration for electric vehicles.

The Senator suggested that the federal government should provide incentives for people taking up this “clean and reliable” source of transport. This could be done by paying the cost to the states of registering new electric vehicles for up to five years, he added.

The plan would also establish a $151 million fund to provide grants for state government agencies, local governments and private car park operators that want to set up electric vehicle charging stations for people in their communities.

“You would be able to literally plug in your car to the power station at your local train station, sporting oval, swimming pool, library or while you are doing the groceries,” Di Natale said.

The Green’s proposal also includes promoting the purchase of electric fleet vehicles by NGOs and government. These vehicles would subsequently be allowed move into the secondhand vehicle market when fleet operators turn these cars after around five years.

“Providers like Nissan have had the electric Leaf vehicle on the market since 2010 and since then we have seen the market grow with more people wanting a cleaner, cheaper option for transport,” Di Natale said.

He further said Australia should support local developers and manufacturers of battery technologies, and electric vehicle servicing and engineering, to “seize the opportunities of the electric vehicle future”.

“The old dirty power sources like diesel and coal are on their way out and we need to support industries like electric vehicles to move toward a more innovative future,” Di Natale said.

Australian Greens transport spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice, commented: “Electric cars and buses are a critical part of the transport mix for a clean transport future.”

She added that the Greens’ plan for electric vehicles will “drive Australia’s transition to the new economy, creating the high skilled jobs of the future”.

Back in March, the Senate backed a motion from the Greens calling on the government to “refocus” South Australia’s car manufacturing industry on electric vehicles.

The motion called on the Government to use industry assistance such as the Automotive Transformation Scheme to encourage investment in the manufacture of electric and other non-fossil fuel powered vehicles in the state.

Further it would develop a strategy to support workers transition to new jobs following the closure of the troubled Holden Elizabeth Plant.

Image credit: Victorian Greens, Creative Commons


  1. We’re yet to resolve the issue of costs regarding the supply of electricity and the mobility aspect.

    Commercial operations make it somewhat easier, but who pays for the infrastructure at local facilities when you charge? How do you pay? What about capacity limitations.

    Worthwhile reading the Smart Grid, Smart City technical report on Electric Vehicle impacts to grid to get an idea of what the outcomes will need to be in reality as uptake shifts this from a marginal activity to one with real impact. Further, there’s been very little work subsequent to this on “mobile NMIs” (National Meter Identifiers) and the “smarts” needed to empower EVs to charge where-ever and the costs passed to the account holder of that NMI (including charging at a friend’s place, workplace etc).

    Disclosure: I worked on the simulations and models of the impact to the distribution networks of various uptake models for the report.

    • Yep but isn’t part of the problem that there aren’t enough out there, so its hard to determine the appropriateness of costs etc?

      For daily commute type situations, as I understand it most vehicles would be fine to get from home to site and back only using own power.

      So it only becomes an issue with distance travel.

      Start increasing the volume of people with these vehicles, and some enterprising group will put together a way to make money off them.

      Fast charge stations are the first example that I can think of. Some of the Big servo’s would love that. Half hour charging time. Sure, come on in and enjoy some lunch on one of our site providers, etc.

      Its the classic chicken egg situation. You need a market to get the solutions, but the market doesn’t want to exist without the solutions being there.

      • Tesla alone has released their patents for their superchargers and battery technology for anyone to use.

        So yeah, as you said, it’s a chicken and egg situation. We need people using them before the market provides more charging stations around.

      • Our next vehicle will be electric, no doubt. I’m just hoping that the Tesla model 3 is the catalyst we need to put sub $40,000 EVs on the market that can compete with the likes of modern European diesels (despite their cheating software) in terms of performance and comfort

  2. NO such thing as a “Green Car”, they are “green washing” Funding for Public Transit and Bike Ways.

    • Yeah that’s also got a lot of truth to it, but given the size of our nation and the “urban sprawl” bikes are just not suitable for major Aussie cities. Public Transport OTOH really needs to be treated as a public service and not a cost centre to be more useful too.

      • Active transport works for a good proportion of trips and shouldn’t be discounted.

        Sure, not every trip, but we keep designing our transport routes to prop up inefficient transport solutions (aka private vehicles with one or two occupants). But it’s not a single solution, it’s how do we drive more people-km transport across all solutions instead of single mindedly focusing on providing comfort of private vehicles at all costs (current mindset).

  3. Many modern Powerstations have been gas turbine powered for years. That is, instead of burning coal or nuclear to simply boil water to spin the turbines, the gas turbine is attached directly to the turbine and spins it…negating the waste of power by heating water. Nuclear power stations are just big kettles, all they do is boil water to run the turbines. Very wasteful. As far as fast charging, that may be in the future… far more sensible idea…mine of course….is to make battery changeover stations, where an electric car drives into a conveyor, robotics, remove the old spent battery pack, and installs a newly charged pack, and you pay at the exit, all done in a minute or two….just like driving thru a car wash. No waiting around for 10 minutes, half and hour etc etc to charge, just replace a go. Of course manufacturers would have to standardise pratices of battery location and type etc…something they will need to do anyway…..Also have the roof panel with a solar panel inserted, and also a traction flywheel charge system…..has been tried but a bit to advanced for you simple folk atm. ;).
    As far as removing tax or rego fees or whatever for electric, make the ruling, electric/hybrid with at least 50% Australia content…….that will get the juices flowing.

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