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SHASA: Electric cars are coming and will give us many benefits

In their latest media release Kathryn Maxwell, Chair, South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) said "Everyone knows that electric vehicles are good for the environment and the economy. They do not emit greenhouse gases when operating and save at least $40 billion a year on the cost of importing petrol and diesel. Yet uptake is small and supporting infrastructure limited. This is changing, and fast.

"The NRMA has committed $10m to install electric car fast charging stations in New South Wales, including one at Batemans Bay Visitors Centre.

"The Coalition is making targeted investments in charging stations and creating a national electric vehicle strategy. The Coalition is aiming for 25% of new vehicles sold by 2030 to be electric vehicles. Last year Angus Taylor promised electric vehicles “will soon have access to an ultra-rapid charging network” that “will provide a range of up to 400 kilometres in just fifteen minutes”. And setting the example is Treasurer Josh Freydenberg driving his own electric car to work.

Ms Maxwell said "Federal Labor, if elected, will introduce a number of measures to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. This includes:

  • allowing businesses to get an upfront tax deduction to buy electric vehicles for business purposes.

  • $200m to create an electric vehicle charging network across the nation.

  • National electric vehicle target of 50% of new car sales by 2030.

"The NRMA has come out in support of the Strategy saying there should be a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars as early as 2025.

Ms Maxwell said in the SHASA media release "Current state of play: There are currently 7,300 electric cars in Australia, dwarfted by the 19.2 million registered motor vehicles in Australia as at 31 January 2018. 76.6% are petrol-powered and 23.4% are diesel . Australia is currently dependent on imports for more than 90% of its fuel needs. The crude oil comes from the Middle East and is processed at refineries in South Korea, China and Singapore. It is then shipped to Australia. We are on track to be 100% reliant on imported petroleum by 2030. Australia spends more than $45 billion a year on petroleum imports.

The SHASA Chair expanded "The benefits of electric cars: Electric vehicles cost much less to run, up to two-thirds cheaper than equivalent petrol-driven vehicles. They are cheaper to maintain thanks to having fewer moving parts. There are no expensive exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems or radiators on electric vehicles. Electric cars don't need oil and therefore do not need oil changes. The brakes on an electric vehicle typically don't wear out as quickly as those on a conventional car. Electric cars have four main components – the on-board charger, inverter, battery and motor. This means there are fewer things requiring maintenance and servicing is simpler – saving you money. The main cost is replacing batteries when they wear out – after 10+ years.

"Electric vehicles have zero exhaust emissions and create less pollution than petrol cars, even when using coal for electricity. They are also quieter which means less noise pollution. Imagine the difference for those living next to the Princes Highway!

"As mentioned earlier Australia imports over 90% of its petrol and diesel to power its cars and trucks. Electric vehicles are powered from locally generated electricity. There are also better employment benefits for Australia through use of locally produced electricity. "We already have jobs thanks to electric cars. For example 250 workers at TritiumAus make the fastest electric vehicle super chargers in Brisbane and export this high tech equipment to 26 nations in Europe, Asia and North America. If we get production of electric cars in Australia this would create many thousands of jobs. "In October 2018 the Australian-owned SEA Electric announced it would set up a factory in Morwell, in Victoria, with the first vehicle expected to roll off the production line in 2019/20. About 500 jobs are set to be created in the Latrobe Valley, with the Victorian Government announcing a deal to bring the manufacturing of electric vehicles to the region. There is also an Australian made all-electric utility vehicle (known as the “Yewt”) nearly ready for release, along with three other fleet models.

In conclusion Ms Maxwell said "In the next few years we will see a number of car manufacturers come out with a cheaper and wider range of electric vehicles from small sedans to large four wheel drives and utes. A Federal Government electric vehicle strategy will help Australian's achieve the switch to electric vehicles to help their purse, the local environment and the climate. What’s not to like?"

VIDEO: Kristina Keneally questions the Government's criticisms of Labor's Electric Vehicle Policy

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