Inquiry to investigate electric vehicle uptake

The Senate has established a select committee to inquire into the use and manufacture of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia.

The committee will investigate the potential economic, environmental and social benefits of electric vehicle uptake in Australia, as well as manufacturing and supply and value chain services opportunities.

It will also look at measures to support the acceleration of EV uptake and how federal, state and territory governments could work together to support this.

“We are on the cusp of the biggest disruption to our transport system since the advent of the internal combustion engine,” committee chair Senator Tim Storer said.

“Australia is uniquely placed to take a leading role in this transformation. This committee will lend much needed momentum and leadership to this issue at the federal level.

“With the right policies and incentives, we can create local jobs, generate economic growth and deliver cheaper and cleaner vehicles to consumers.”

The Australia Institute strategist Dan Cass welcomed the establishment of the committee.

“There is a race to transition the world’s massive car fleet to electric vehicles and Australia is falling behind,” Mr Cass said.

“Governments around the world offer incentives to support electric vehicles, Australia does not.

“Meanwhile, Australia was one of only 13 countries in the world that could build a car from beginning to end. That is, until Australia’s last car manufacturer – Holden in South Australia – closed late last year.”

Mr Cass said while technological improvements have made electric vehicles more affordable, there are structural impediments to Australians taking advantage of the increasing affordability of electric vehicles.

“The Senate needs to consider what policies could be implemented to overcome these structural barriers,” he said.

“If governments act now to support the development of the electric vehicles market, economic and environmental benefits will follow.”

Submissions are due by Friday, July 27.