AGL Energy and Tesla to push electric vehicles

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AGL Energy has aligned with Tesla Motors, among others in the energy industry, to drive the uptake of electronic vehicles.

A range of policy measures have been suggested, including tax incentives and emissions regulations.

A coalition of 18 industry bodies has found the cost to consumers of buying an electric vehicle could be cut by more than $8000 a car through incentives such as exemption from fringe benefits tax. A nationally co-ordinated approach to promote electric vehicles has also been suggested, with up-front purchase incentives, rebates on annual registration, priority lanes, and reduced central business district parking fees among the recommendations.

The coalition brings together a variety of different parties including TransGrid, Ergon, automaker Renault, and not-for-profit environmental groups. In the coming days, it will release a report proposing a “path forward” for electric cars that would help Australia catch-up with overseas countries, where there are already financial and other incentives to boost consumer demand.

“Now is the time for the policy support to drive the uptake of electric vehicles,” TransGrid executive general manager Greg Garvin told The Sydney Morning Herald, pointing to the winding down of car manufacturing in Australia as one of the factors.

“They are a smart way to embrace new technology to meet our emissions reductions target and to meet our air quality, fuel security and, importantly, to support new and innovative businesses to grow the Australian economy.”