Committee view and recommendations
EVs are at the forefront of a major transformation of the world's
transport sector. Global EV sales are growing rapidly, driven by government
policy in large consumer markets in Europe, Asia and North America. Vehicle
manufacturers are leading the transition, investing heavily to expand their EV
offerings and improve EV driving range and performance. The technological
disruption is also providing opportunities for new business models and
companies to emerge.
The widespread use of EVs in the Australian transportation fleet would
provide significant economic, environmental and health benefits. While the
Committee is cognisant that transitioning to EVs presents challenges on a
number of fronts, the Committee is of the view that the benefits of EVs
substantially outweigh these challenges.
However, the uptake of EVs in Australia is slower than in other
countries. The expense of EVs, compared with internal combustion engine (ICE)
equivalent vehicles, and concerns about the driving range and lack of
recharging infrastructure for EVs are key factors hindering motorists
purchasing these vehicles.
The Committee has included battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in
hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in its
definition of EVs. In terms of technology development, the Committee notes evidence
provided that FCEV development has progressed more slowly than BEVs and PHEVs
and there may now be an acceptance that BEVs and PHEVs will become the dominant
technology longer-term. The Committee also notes the preference of most vehicle
manufacturers for battery technology, and that the uptake of FCEVs may be further
disadvantaged by the lack of refuelling infrastructure.
The evidence to the Committee is that, in the absence of any change to
regulatory settings, EV uptake in Australia will be constrained and will
continue to lag behind other comparable nations. Slow uptake will result in EV
manufacturers not prioritising the Australian market and fewer EV models being
available to Australian motorists. It will also delay the realisation of substantial
economic, environmental and health benefits.
The Committee has also heard that the transition to EVs presents opportunities
for EV manufacturing and associated businesses in Australia. These
opportunities include harnessing existing manufacturing capability and
developing new manufacturing fields for Australian industry.
In this Chapter, the Committee outlines its recommendations for measures
to support and accelerate the uptake of EVs, as well as measures to support and
develop EV manufacturing and associated business opportunities.
Development of a national EV strategy and targets
The Committee has carefully considered whether there is a role for updated
regulatory settings to increase the uptake of EVs in Australia. On balance, the
Committee is of the view that a status-quo approach is detrimental to
Australia's interest. It is clear to the Committee that policy leadership from
government would provide an important signal to the market of Australia's
support for EVs and thus promote confidence for both business and consumers.
The Committee welcomes the announcement by the Council of Australian
Governments' (COAG) Transport and Infrastructure Council for a Senior
Officials' Committee to develop a program of work to address the barriers and
challenges in EV uptake. However, the Committee believes the Australian
Government should also develop a comprehensive national EV strategy to ensure
Australia takes advantage of opportunities EVs present, while also responsibly managing
The Committee further recommends that the Australian Government
establish an inter-governmental taskforce to take responsibility for the
implementation of the national EV strategy. The role of the inter-governmental
taskforce will be to ensure that there is a nationally consistent approach to
EV policy and to identify areas of regulatory reform. The Committee's view is
that the National Transport Commission should provide an annual report
detailing areas for regulatory reform to COAG's Transport and Infrastructure
Council for implementation by the inter-governmental taskforce
The evidence to the Committee highlighted economic, environmental, and
health benefits from a transition to EVs, and opportunities to enhance Australian
industrial capabilities in research and development – in the resources, automotive
and transport sectors. It highlighted that there are a host of challenges and
risks which need to be considered so the approach must be comprehensive and
Addressing these risks and challenges will require effective national
standards and regulation in regards to charging infrastructure and electricity
grid integration, building and construction, public safety, consumer
protection, processes for disposal and/or re-use of batteries, and skills
The Committee notes that the pace of change and technology is largely
driven by overseas developments. Lithium ion battery technology is under
continuous attention for re- development and that alternatives to lithium iron
– such as solid state batteries – are being actively pursued.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government develop a
national EV strategy to facilitate and accelerate EV uptake and ensure
Australia takes advantage of the opportunities, and manages the risks and
challenges, of the transition to EVs.
Addressing these risks and challenges will require effective
national standards and regulation in regards to charging infrastructure and
electricity grid integration, building and construction, public safety,
consumer protection, processes for disposal and/or re-use of batteries, and
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government should take a national
leadership position in establishing an inter-governmental taskforce to lead the
development and implementation of a national EV strategy.
The Committee has heard that establishing national EV targets provides
leadership to consumers and businesses and assures vehicle manufacturers that a
local market exists. Countries with the highest EV uptake all have national
targets as the overarching part of their strategy. National targets could
provide international vehicle manufacturers with confidence that the Australian
EV market will grow and encourage them to make a broader range of models
available, specifically more affordable models. For consumers, national targets
offer confidence that a critical mass of EVs will be reached and that
supporting infrastructure will be available as the number of EVs grows.
Accordingly, as part of the national strategy, the Committee recommends setting
national targets focused on passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles and metropolitan
buses. There are various views on the pace of the adoption or targets and Committee
considers that percentage of vehicles sales by 2025, rather than a longer term
target for the complete phase out of ICE vehicle sales is more appropriate. In
the Committee's view, consideration of short-to-medium term targets could demonstrate
the government's commitment to accelerating EV uptake. The Committee is hopeful
that the initial targets will provide the momentum required to increase EV
sales to a point such that targets will no longer be required. Targets will
also bolster the business case for expanding domestic EV manufacturing and
supply chain activities.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider establishing
national EV targets for light passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles and
Government fleet targets
Motor vehicle sales and leases of motor vehicles to the government
sector at a national, state and local government level make up a significant
proportion of the total Australian motor vehicle fleet. The Committee
recognises that a higher portion of EVs in government fleets would help
stimulate growth in the sector and encourage manufacturers to bring a greater
range of EV models to Australia. It would also help to underpin a larger
second-hand EV market, and in turn, create a larger pool of more affordable EVs
for consumer and small business.
The Committee is encouraged by the ACT Government's action in mandating
50 per cent zero emissions vehicles by 2019-20 and 100 per cent by
2020-21, and the United Kingdom Government's commitment to 25 per cent ultra-low
emissions vehicles in the government fleet by 2022.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider
establishing a national EV target for the Government fleet.
Measures to support EV uptake
The evidence suggests that the price of EVs will continue to fall as
production expands and battery prices decline. Evidence to the Committee suggested
that EVs would reach price parity around the mid-2020s, and becoming cheaper
than combustion engine (ICE) equivalents thereafter. Some commercial vehicle
classes are expected to reach price parity sooner than passenger vehicles, with
the lower operating cost making the whole-of-life cost cheaper than an ICE
equivalent. At the same time the effort required to get achieve that should not
The Committee notes that in some international jurisdictions, direct
financial incentives have been provided to motorists in order to promote the
uptake of EVs. The Committee does not propose the implementation of such subsidies
The Committee has heard evidence on a range of program initiatives and the
intersection and overlap with tax and financial measures that could support
demand for EV’s but has not committed to any specific proposal or package of
Public charging infrastructure
Readily available and easily accessible public charging infrastructure
is a key to accelerating the uptake of EV passenger vehicles in Australia.
While the Committee understands that the majority of charging of EVs is likely
to occur at residential properties overnight, a comprehensive network of public
charging infrastructure is required to address range anxiety, support longer
distance travel and will provide confidence for consumers that they will be
able to charge their vehicle when required.
The Committee supports the initiatives underway in Queensland, the ACT,
Western Australia and NSW which are increasing public charging infrastructure,
as well as plans for a fast charging network on federal highways. However, the
Committee is concerned that, at present, there is no integrated plan for the
rollout of public charging infrastructure. For this reason, the Committee
recommends that as part of the national strategy, the Australian Government,
along with charging infrastructure operators, develop a comprehensive plan for
the rollout of a national public charging network.
The Committee recognises that highway fast charging will be important in
addressing motorist's range anxiety. Government funding can play a major role
in supporting more expansive coverage, particularly in areas that may not be a
commercially viable for the private sector at present.
The Committee notes the benefits of workplace charging, not only in
providing access to charging facilities for those who are unable to install
home charging facilities, but also in shifting electricity demand away from the
early evening peak to the middle of the day, when solar PV is expected to
provide surplus generation. The Committee agrees with the evidence provided
that making sure EVs do not overload the electricity network at times of peak
demand will also be important for maintaining grid stability and preventing
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government coordinate with
operators in the charging infrastructure industry to develop a comprehensive
plan for the rollout of a national public charging network.
Vehicles emissions standards
While Australia has long had vehicle emissions standards in place, the
standard for light vehicles in Australia are based on a European standard (Euro
5) which has now been superseded. Further, the Committee understands the
current Australian vehicle emissions standards do not include a specific
standard for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The Committee understands that modelling undertaken for the Ministerial
Forum on Vehicle Emissions estimated that phasing in an efficiency target for
new light vehicles from 2020 of 105 grams of CO2 per kilometre would
deliver $13.9 billion in net economic benefit out to 2040. Further, evidence to
the Committee indicates that Australia's less stringent vehicle emissions
standards may result in vehicle manufacturers not prioritising the Australian
market for EVs. The Committee is therefore recommending that the Australian
Government introduce more stringent vehicle emissions standards.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government introduce more
stringent vehicle emissions standards, and establish a new CO2 standard,
informed by those implemented in other developed countries and the findings of
the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions.
Throughout the inquiry, the Committee heard that consumer concern about
the driving range of EVs is hindering the uptake in Australia. The Committee
understands that these concerns will be allayed with the introduction of newer
EV models with greater range and the continuing roll out of charging
The Committee is of the view that, as part of the national strategy, the
Australian Government should also undertake an education campaign to
familiarise motorists with the capabilities and benefits of EVs.
The Committee recommends that any national strategy by the Australian
Government should develop a consumer education campaign to raise awareness of
the capabilities and benefits of EVs.
The Committee notes the establishment of the United Kingdom's EV
Experience Centre and the EV Discovery Centre in Toronto, Canada. Such centres
provide an excellent opportunity for consumers to experience, and become
familiar with the benefits of, EVs. The Committee notes in particular the
proposal by the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders
University, for a pilot EV experience centre, or 'Future Mobility Centre', at
Tonsley in South Australia.
The Committee also support other means of increasing awareness and
education of the public of EVs. In particular, the Committee supports a Formula
E event being hosted in Australia. The Committee also notes the possible
flow-on benefits that such an event would have in relation to the hosting of
associated EV activities.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work with the
state and territory governments to bring a Formula-E Championship race to
Developing an EV industry in Australia
One of the highlights of the Committee's inquiry was the opportunity to
undertake site visits to companies involved in the manufacture of EVs and EV
components. With the closure of manufacturing plants for ICE vehicles, the
Committee believes that there are significant opportunities in the research and
development, systems and manufacturing of EVs and EV components for Australian companies.
In the Committee's view, this is an area where the Australian Government should
be providing policy leadership through the development of an EV manufacturing
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government develop and
implement a comprehensive 10-year EV manufacturing roadmap, also covering research
and development, vehicle and system design and manufacture batteries,
telematics, supply chain and component manufacturing.
Beyond the provision of grants, the Committee believes that the
Australian Government can provide support to businesses in the EV industry
through its procurement decisions and spending.
The Committee heard, for example, that public transport procurement has
significant potential to support local EV manufacturing. 'Local benefits' or
'local content' provisions in government procurement policies would provide
further support to local industry. On this point, the Committee notes the
Commonwealth Procurement Rules provide that, in considering value for money for
procurements above $4 million, Commonwealth officials are required to consider
the economic benefit of the procurement to the Australian economy.
The Committee acknowledges the significant government fleet procurement,
and particularly public transport fleet procurement, activity which occurs at
local, state and territory government level, and recommends the Australian
Government, coordinate federal, state and local government EV fleet and
electric bus and truck procurement through the inter-governmental EV
taskforce (Recommendation 2), informed by the national EV strategy
(Recommendation 1) and EV manufacturing road map (Recommendation 9).
The Committee recommends the Australian Government coordinate federal,
state and local government EV fleet, truck and electric bus procurement through
the inter-governmental EV taskforce (Recommendation 2).
Research and training
EV manufacture, supply and value-chain activities present potentially
significant areas of industry and economic benefit for Australia. Evidence to
the Committee highlighted the breadth of research activity which is already being
undertaken within Australia in relation to EV design and engineering. Further,
the Committee heard that battery composition research; mining, refinement and
processing of component minerals for batteries; and battery manufacture, are
all promising areas for further research and development.
The Committee strongly supports increased research into these areas and
recommends that the Australian Government provides grant funding accordingly.
The introduction of EVs into the Australian vehicle fleet will result in
a fundamental change in the skills required for vehicle servicing and
maintenance. To this end, the Committee supports the development of specific
training qualifications for EV service technicians, as well as funding for
apprenticeships and traineeships, to provide a workforce of technicians for
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government works with state
and territory governments through the COAG Industry and Skills Council to
establish national training arrangements for automotive service technicians in
relation to electric vehicles.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, in conjunction
with industry stakeholders, fund apprenticeships and traineeships in the local EV
and associated manufacturing sector.
Charging and electricity infrastructure
The Australian Government will have an important role in ensuring the
electricity network is capable of managing the variable demands EVs will place on
it. To this end, the Committee recommends that a 10-year plan be developed in
consultation with Australian Energy Market Operator, Infrastructure Australia,
business, industry, and other relevant stakeholders outlining electricity
network infrastructure upgrades needed to manage the demand from an increasing
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work closely with
electricity market agencies, states and other relevant stakeholders to prepare
a 10-year plan detailing priority electricity network infrastructure upgrades needed
to manage demand from EVs.
In addition to a plan to ensure grid stability, the Committee is of the
view that the impact of distributed energy resources, (DER) such as home solar
photo-voltaic arrays and EV batteries, will need to be considered.
The Committee notes that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is
currently working on a DER register. In the Committee's view the work on the
DER register needs to be completed as a matter of urgency.
In parallel with the DER register, the Committee is of the view that
work needs to start immediately on mechanisms and strategies for AMEO to be
able to access and direct DER to charge or discharge to meet operational
The Committee notes that AEMO is currently working on updating its
Integrated System Plan (ISP). In the Committee’s view, the ISP needs to take
specific account of the need for the grid to support increased uptake of EVs.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work closely
with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to:
Expedite the establishment of a register of distributed energy
Develop a strategy for AEMO to access and direct the DER to
charge or provide electricity to the grid to meet operational requirements.
The Committee has heard that current tenancy laws and building codes
impede the installation of home charging infrastructure, in particular for
those who rent and those who live in apartments. The Committee is encouraged by
international examples which have made it easier for apartment dwellers and
renters to install EV charging equipment.
Many existing buildings in Australia do not have the electrical
infrastructure to support the required demand for electricity expected from
rising EV numbers. There exists an opportunity to future–proof new and
renovated buildings for the expected increase in demand for home charging
equipment by ensuring the electricity infrastructure is in place to support
The Committee has heard specific evidence that in order to avoid
over-engineering the electricity transmission system, changes to the electrical
wiring requirements for new and renovated buildings should encourage
installation of smart load management systems as a means of calibrating EV
energy demands with supply.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work with state
and territory governments, through COAG and the Building Ministers Forum, to explore
necessary amendments to the National Construction Code to render all new dwellings
'electric vehicle charger ready'.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work with
Standards Australia to amend AS/NZS3000:2018 Electrical installations:
Wiring Rules to the following effect:
Where a smart load management system is not implemented,
assume all the electric vehicle chargers will be running at full capacity all
the time. Where a smart load management system is implemented, assume
electric vehicle charging load will be effectively limited by the parameters of
It is clear to the Committee that it is an opportune time to establish
national standards in relation to various aspects of EVs in order to provide
uniformity and certainty for motorists, vehicle manufactures and charging
infrastructure providers. Some key standards identified to the Committee
included: a national charging standard; a signage standard; safety standards,
including minimum noise at low speeds and advanced driver assistance systems standards;
and battery system standards.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work closely
with Standards Australia to establish a series of national standards in
relation to EVs.
The Committee notes evidence called for the gross vehicle weight (GVM)
for passenger car licences to be increased from 4.5 to 5.5 tonnes. The
Committee understands that this change would accommodate a reduction in payload
due to the weight of batteries. While the Committee, in principle supports such
an increase, the Committee is mindful that issues such as the towing weight
allowable for EVs and licensing requirements would also need to be considered
as part of any such amendment.
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page