It's back to the bowser in the race to the future  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The SMH reports the Australian government is turning its back on electric vehicles, preferring to remain tied to the oil industry instead - It's back to the bowser in the race to the future.

THE federal government has ruled out offering incentives for electric cars, preferring to support existing oil-based technology. Consumer subsidies such as those offered by overseas governments are crucial to ensuring Australian buyers can access the limited supply of electric cars, car companies say. ...

The federal government instead believes the future of the car industry lies in the development of existing technology across petrol, diesel and LPG engines. ... Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr said ''Over the next decade, the most rapid and cost-effective way of improving fuel economy and building more environmentally effective cars is to adapt technologies that are being deployed now.''

The government will spend $1.3 billion over the next 10 years to increase production of cleaner, more efficient vehicles. But the money is going to manufacturers, such as Toyota, for the development of the hybrid Camry, rather than consumers in the form of rebates or tax incentives. ...

University of Technology Sydney researcher Chris Dunstan said electric cars offered health benefits in terms of local air pollution and, unless they were charged in Victoria, which used brown coal, they were no worse for the environment.

Mr Dunstan, the research director at the university's Institute for Sustainable Futures, said several major issues concerning electric cars were still to be addressed, including if owners would have to use green power and where and when they could charge their batteries. ''We need to make sure we are thinking about the energy supply infrastructure and how we manage it. It goes back to not just having the technology right but the incentives also,'' he said.

Mr Dunstan said 100 per cent renewable power was cheaper than petrol and the price of batteries was coming down. ''If Australia was to embrace this technology more, then there's potential for us to be a significant player in what's likely to be a multibillion-dollar industry in the next few years,'' he said.

Dr Peter Pudney, from the University of South Australia, said the more electric cars sold, the cheaper they would become. He is calling for a push towards renewable energy and the need for immediate action. He said incentives did not have to be financial but could be the introduction of low-emission parking spaces and traffic lanes.


Anonymous   says 5:06 PM

The idiots! Don't they know by now?

A friend is mates with Kristina and Ben Keneally, and has dinner there now and then. Ben is the head of marketting for Better Place. One would have thought that Kristina could have had a chat with the PM about supporting Better Place... or would that be 'conflict of interests' or nepotism or some similarly sinister word EV naysayers would like to taint such a discussion with? Blargh! The world is pretty stupid sometimes.

But hey, once the reality of peak oil starts to bit and the sheer energy efficiency and physics of EV's comes to light, surely they'll make the right choice then?

Yes - we'll make the right choice when its the only one left...

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