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Road to nowhere: why Australia lags behind the revolution of electric vehicles | Environment

WThe Senate Electric Vehicle Senate Board announced its long-awaited report on Wednesday, announcing that Australia is "at the top" of the change that is not noticeable since the arrival of the internal combustion engine.

This is not the first time public figures have argued that the revolution in electric cars is inevitable, and while the report did not recommend firm action, he offered a moment of bipartisan recognition that the lack of government activities left Australia to lag behind the rest of the world.

Despite fewer cars sold in the world last year, electric cars continued to emerge from showrooms. More than 2 million electric cars were sold in 2018, and only China accounted for 1.26 million points of sale.

But while the rest of the world is switching to new technology, in 2017, Australians bought only 2,284 vehicles, according to the Electric Vehicle Council. Numbers are currently not available for 2018.

The chief executive of the organization, Behyad Jafari, says the good news is that this represents an increase of 68% from 2016, a trend he expects to continue in 2019, as cheaper cars such as the Hyundai Ionic and the new Nissan Leaf have reached the market under $ 50,000.

The bad news is that according to the most conservative projections of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, it will be necessary by 2027 to step up the electric cars to become meaningful.

"The whole world is moving in this direction," Jafari says. "It's like Steve Jobs tells you that in 20 years he will create an iPhone and you do not do anything about it.

"At the moment, we have nine to ten years behind the rest of the world when taking electric vehicles. Do we want cleaner roads? Do we want safer roads? Better surroundings? And another thing, do we want to get a piece of the cake?

"We need to ask ourselves: are we continuing to stay behind?"

There are currently 17 million registered cars on Australian roads, which the Climate Council says are the second largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the country.

Each year Australian cars collectively produce roughly the same emissions as Queensland's entire supply of coal and gas, which prevents the Australian automotive fleet's climate change from being authentic.

Governments elsewhere have generally addressed this issue, encouraging more cars on the road to escape electricity, and then working on the "green" energy sources that provide that electricity.

In Australia, work on managing the transition to electric cars has been hampered by inaction despite high-level support for high-end electric cars by some of the current government.

At the beginning of 2018, now Treasurer Josh Freudenberg wrote an opinion as Environment Minister, arguing that "a global revolution in electric vehicles is underway". His enthusiasm did not coincide with conservative backbenchers.

The division at the federal level has so far meant that little has been done to introduce a cohesive plan or national strategy, leaving state governments, local governments and the industry to go on their own, due to lack of resources, limited authority and deep insecurity.

Sometimes it's done for big titles that end up with a quarrel. Earlier last year, Sanjay Gupta, the UK billionaire investor, said it wanted to take over the former Holden plant in Elizabeth, South Australia, and to cannibalize its old machines for building electric cars.

When Gupta failed to enter, he said that instead of looking at Victoria. Since then there have been no upgrades.

Dr Mark Dean, research associate with the Australian Institute for Industrial Transformation at Flinders University, is not surprised.

It is very risky and expensive to build a car factory that can produce a whole car from scratch because each factory relies on a vast network of suppliers and must produce in large quantities to make a profit.

"Car production is not a bargain for Lego," Dean said. "You do not just disassemble factories and reset them when you need to reuse them."

With Australia now fully relying on imports, the country is at the mercy of the global markets. And since there are currently only a limited number of electric cars produced worldwide every year, car companies need to carefully consider where to sell their cars, how to send them and how to appreciate them.

This means that Australia must compete for a fraction of global production in relation to countries that have clear political positions on climate change and electric cars.

Around the world, China, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, New Zealand and the United Kingdom all acted with varying degrees of intervention, up.

Norway is currently a world leader, with almost two out of five cars on its roads or electric or hybrid electric vehicles, according to the International Energy Agency.

New Zealand has set a goal to have 64,000 electric cars by 2021. Although in New Zealand there are problems with imported electric cars used, from December 2018, 11,748 electric cars were on their roads in the country of 4.7 million.

By contrast, on the EWC figures, only 7,341 electric cars have been sold in Australia since 2017.

The introduction of a similar aspirational target for the Australian passenger car fleet was among the 17 recommendations given in the report of the Senate Committee.

The committee may have drifted away from making luxury car tax changes, but other recommendations included targets for involving state-of-the-art electric cars and even the Formula One championship race to foster consumer interest.

The first recommendation, however, was the most critical. Although he did not offer any specifics, he recognized the urgent need for a clear, national plan, a point that Jafari says is at least a recognition that the status quo is unsustainable.

"There is no other national government that does not bother to have a plan or think about what to do next," says Jaffray. "If you enter the conversation saying that" we can not do it, "then that will not happen.

"If you come to say that we will work hard, we may not achieve 100% of what we do, but we will still try, you will go somewhere."

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