Leaked Labor Plan To Build Electric Vehicles In Australia
Morrison calls for details on cost of electric vehicle policy
Labor is hoping to resurrect Australia’s car industry with a multi-million plan to establish the manufacture of electric and hydrogen-powered cars locally.
The ABC reported that the yet-to-be-unveiled policy would involve offering tens of millions of dollars in co-investment and research and development grants with major car companies to do work in Australia, as part of their plan to make 50 per cent of all new cars sold in Australia to be electric vehicles.
Scott Morrison has backed away from his party's criticism of electric vehicles, but put the pressure on Bill Shorten to explain how his carbon emissions policy will add to car prices.
Coalition MPs this week accused Labor of wanting to "ban" utes because the party wants to see 50 per cent of new vehicles sold in Australia run on electric power by 2030.
The prime minister didn't go that far, especially after revelations the coalition has been strongly pushing electric vehicle charging stations and wants cleaner vehicles on the road. Indeed, Environment Minister Melissa Price said that the government was aiming for EVs to make up at least 25 percent of all new car sales by 2030.
"We have a policy to encourage the take up of electric vehicles and to invest in charging stations and putting that infrastructure in place in the public," Mr Morrison told reporters in Launceston on Wednesday.
But Mr Morrison said Labor's plan to introduce carbon emission standards for vehicles would drive up the cost of new cars and utes.
Labor wants to introduce a carbon emissions standard of 105 grams per kilometre, in line with standards in the United States. Australia is one of the only developed countries in the world without carbon standards for cars.
"There's only three out of the top 20 selling cars today that actually meet that standard," Mr Morrison said.
"That means there's 17 that fail, 17 vehicles that are the preferred choice of Australians."
The Coalition in the past week had criticised Mr Shorten for saying that electric vehicles could be charged in 8 to 10 minutes, but have backed down after experts pointed out that rapid chargers – including some installed and funded by the Coalition government – can charge a car to drive up to 200km in 8 minutes.
Mr Shorten said the coalition had actually been pushing for electric cars for years.
"They're so addicted to scare campaigns they even want to scare you about their own policies," the Labor leader told reporters.
"All of the big car companies around the world are moving to producing electric vehicles. What we want to do is make sure that Australia is in the debate."
He promised support for any electric car makers who wanted to build them in Australia.
A number of major car manufacturers expect to have electric versions of their cars available within a few years, while Chinese maker Great Wall announced an electric dual cab ute last week.
The prime minister is expected within days to announce the federal poll, most likely to be held on May 18.
His Liberal-National coalition continues to lag behind Labor on a two-party preferred basis but senior government figures remain confident it can be clawed back.
An Essential poll released on Tuesday found the coalition behind 48 per cent to 52 on the two-party preferred vote.
But it also found the federal budget was well-received, with 51 per cent of voters approving and 27 per cent disapproving.
The coalition is banking on approving the controversial Adani coal mine to help win over voters in Queensland, but it might cost votes in Victoria.
- With AAP