Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is changing his tune on electric vehicles with the rollout of a new 250 million Australian dollar ($185 million) plan that will assist private businesses in accelerating the rollout of 50,000 EV charging and hydrogen refueling stations.
In 2019 during elections, Morrison stated that the introduction of EVs to the market would end the “Australian weekend” due to the myth that electric vehicles cannot tow boats or pull RVs.
“[An electric vehicle] won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favorite camping spot with your family,” Morrison said in late 2019.
Now, Morrison is pushing for a massive 250 million Australian dollar plan that will oversee the building of at least 50,000 EV chargers and hydrogen refueling stations in an attempt to pull the country’s BEV and plug-in hybrid market share to 30% by 2030.
“The costs of technology are coming down, and that means the choices available to Australians and right around the world are becoming more accessible, so our plans are all about supporting those choices,” Morrison said, according to the Associated Press. “Our plans aren’t about sending a lot of taxpayers’ money off to big multinationals to get costs down. They’ll do that themselves. They’ve a keen interest in doing that.”
Less than 2% of Australia’s 2020 new car registrations were electric. One of the main contributors to Australia maintaining its reputation as one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas emitters was due to the transport sector.
Interestingly, Australia’s opposing party, which is led by Anthony Albanese who will challenge Morrison for the Prime Minister position in May 2022, doesn’t buy Morrison’s newly-found support of EVs. “The government …, during the last campaign, said that electric vehicles would ‘end the weekend,’ and now … in the lead-up to an election campaign, they want you to believe that now electric vehicles are all okay and they want to encourage uptake,” Albanese said. “Well, they can’t have it both ways. This is a government that is scared of change.”
Morrison recently committed to Australia achieving net zero emissions by 2050 but was criticized by many leaders for not revising the country’s climate goals for 2030. Morrison did not revise the reduction of emissions by 26% to 28%, which many felt was a conservative goal. Other countries have made steeper commitments that make Australia’s goals seem too easy to reach.
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