More calls for Australian Governments to boost EVs

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VACC says governments need to act

Car manufacturing in Australia may have all but ended, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a healthy car industry still operating locally.

A new report – Directions in Australia’s Automotive Industry was compiled by the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), it found the automotive industry last year contributed $37.1 billion to the Australian economy.

That figure represents a substantial 2.2% of the nation’s total GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

But there are concerns that the industry, one of the nation’s largest employers, could take a downturn after the final Aussie-built car is screwed together.

Related: Knowledge the big stumbling block for EVs

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) says one way of ensuring the industry continues to grow is through the greater adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles.

Chamber Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, says governments need to get behind the roll out of high-tech cars and powertrains.

“We don’t have national policy that it’s going to provide an incentive for people to get into cleaner cars or more autonomous cars even though those cars have the capacity to lift productivity significantly in our community.

“It’s also around policy in terms of energy. There’s no point having half your fleet of vehicles using electricity if we haven’t found out how to create more electricity more cheaply and without damaging the environment.

“So, these are big questions for government and the industry isn’t convinced at the moment that the government has got those settings right.

“We need those settings to be right in order for the industry to be confident about its future in order for people to come and invest in Australia around our vehicle fleet and around our road system and around the technologies that will help us use vehicles that raise productivity in our community.”

The report highlighted the various levels at which cars contribute to the economy and employment.

Related: Sleek new design for 2018 Nissan LEAF

Repair and maintenance businesses account for 54% of the total automotive industry, while the next largest sector is motor vehicle retailing (8.3%).

  • Should governments contribute money and resources to EVs and autonomous cars?
  • Would you be more likely to buy an EV if the cost is comparable with a regular car?
  • Is government money (i.e. taxpayer’s dollars) better spent on essential services?

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