Government will support fleet car businesses

The Federal Government has ruled out subsidies for everyday Australians who want to make switching to an electrical vehicle more affordable, but businesses will get benefits for switching fleet cars to electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Helping businesses buy electric and hybrid vehicles first will result in an influx of affordable second-hand electric cars in the near future, the Government believes, which is likely to drive the price down and increase uptake.

“The Government will support businesses with commercial fleets to undertake charging installation projects, including electrical upgrades, such as for three-phase power,” the Future Fuels Strategy Discussion Paper released on Friday states.

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“The Future Fuels Fund could help businesses make electrical upgrades and install battery chargers at a depot for battery electric delivery trucks, where installation costs might be a barrier to battery electric vehicle uptake.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the future of road transport in Australia will be a mix of vehicle technologies and fuels.

The strategy looks at traditional fuel, hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, electric and bio-fuelled vehicles.

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“Australians are already making the choice to switch to new vehicle technologies where it makes the most economic sense, with hybrid sales doubling last year,” Mr Taylor said.

“We are optimistic about how quickly the technology cost will reduce for other electric vehicles compared to traditional cars, making it an easier choice for consumers.”

He said the paper showed that closing this gap through subsidies for new technology vehicles is not value-for-money for taxpayers and is an expensive form of abatement.

“Fleets is where this gap will close first,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the strategy would be underpinned by significant Government investment.

“We are backing this with substantial funding, including the $74.5 million Future Fuels Package and the $24.5 million Freight Energy Productivity Program,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

The paper is open to feedback until Friday April 2, 2021.

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