Electric cars: separating the facts from the propaganda

(The Guardian, 9 Apr 2019) Electric vehicles have been subject to some wild claims in the Australian election campaign, even before it is called. Here’s the reality.

Why are we talking about EVs now?

A more pertinent question might be: why weren’t we talking about them earlier? The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, tried to start a discussion in January 2018, when he was responsible for environment and energy, comparing the expected trajectory of EVs to that of the iPhone. He said changes in battery technology and recharging infrastructure were gaining momentum in Europe, Asia and North America that would inevitably be replicated in Australia, and predicted people that who mocked EVs would one day be driving them.

After a relatively quiet year, including a couple of relatively low-key funding announcements, the issue was thrust back into the spotlight last week when Labor led its climate policy announcement with a target of 50% of new cars being electric by 2030.

What elese is Labor promising?

Arguably, just as significant is that the ALP says half the cars in government fleets should be EVs by 2025. The 2030 target is mostly intended to send a signal to carmakers and the public, but analysts say the fleet policy would quickly drive change, including ensuring some long-promised recharging infrastructure would be built and creating a second-hand EV market.

Labor wants to introduce vehicle emissions standards requiring light cars to on average emit 105 grams of CO2 per kilometre, based on a US example and less than most cars on Australian roads. It would allow businesses to claim a 20% deduction on EVs that cost more than $20,000, kick in $100m for charging infrastructure and require federally funded roads and developments to include EV tech.

External link

The Guardian, 9 Apr 2019: Electric cars: separating the facts from the propaganda