The Morrison Government has released the first national Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy backed by an expanded $250 million Future Fuels Fund investment.
The technology-led Strategy will see the Government work with industry to enhance consumer choice, create jobs and reduce emissions in Australia’s transport sector.
The expanded Future Fuels Fund, will focus on four key areas of investment, including:
- Public electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure
- Heavy and long-distance vehicle technologies
- Commercial fleets
- Household smart charging
The Government will deliver the Strategy with an expanded $250 million Future Fuels Fund, including $178 million in new funding. The Strategy is expected to result in more than $500 million of combined private and public co-investment directed into the uptake of future fuels in Australia and the creation of more than 2,600 new jobs.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy delivers on the Government’s recently released Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan, which provides an Australian way to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
“Our Plan promised technology not taxes, choices not mandates and driving down the cost of new technologies, and that’s exactly what this Strategy delivers to Australians,” the Prime Minister said.
“Australians love their family sedan, farmers rely on their trusted ute and our economy counts on trucks and trains to deliver goods from coast to coast.
“We will not be forcing Australians out of the car they want to drive or penalising those who can least afford it through bans or taxes. Instead, the Strategy will work to drive down the cost of low and zero emission vehicles, and enhance consumer choice.
“We will do this by creating the right environment for industry co-investment in technology development.
“Just as Australians have taken their own decision to embrace roof-top solar at the highest rate in the world, when new vehicle technologies are cost competitive Australians will embrace them too.”
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Strategy is about helping motorists embrace the increasing range of technologies available to keep them moving in an informed and fair way.
“The Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy sets out the Government’s technology-led approach to reducing transport emissions while ensuring Australians can drive their preferred type of vehicle – be that petrol, diesel, hydrogen or electric powered,” Minister Taylor said. “Our technology-led approach is already helping to enhance consumer and industry confidence. In the last eight months there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of low emissions vehicle models available in Australia.
“We are continuing to invest in the right infrastructure, while ensuring both those in the cities and regions can access this $250 million Fund.
“Like we saw with our world-leading rooftop solar uptake, we know that when new technologies reach price parity, Australians rapidly adopt them. We will take these lessons from solar integration into our reform work to ensure our grid is ‘EV ready’ to keep the lights on and bills affordable for everyone.
“Voluntary adoption of electric vehicles is the right pathway for reducing transport emissions over the long term. Stringent standards, bans or regressive taxes will limit choice and increase the upfront costs of cars for Australians.”
The Government will also take the lead on reforms through Energy Ministers to ensure the electricity grid is ready for an increase in electric vehicles. These reforms will help to keep the grid reliable and affordable, along with avoiding the estimated $224 million in electricity network upgrades needed by 2030. Without this action, these costs would be passed on to all electricity consumers, even those who do not choose to buy an electric vehicle.
In addition, the Government will continue to work closely with the states and territories to address barriers to low emission vehicle uptake in their jurisdictions. We will also ensure consumers have access to reliable, easy-to-understand information on low emission vehicles to enable informed choices. Many Australians are already making the choice to switch to new technology vehicles, with the EV Council reporting that battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles hit a record 8,688 sales in the first half of 2021. This is compared to 6,900 in 2020.
The Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy contributes to Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan by enabling the accelerated deployment of electric vehicles and other low emission transport technologies.
It also complements other government policies that will deliver strong economic and emissions reduction outcomes, including the Technology Investment Roadmap, Modern Manufacturing Strategy, National Hydrogen Strategy and the forthcoming Bioenergy Roadmap.
The additional investment in the Future Fuels Fund come off the back of a successful round one of funding, which leveraged $55 million in private sector co-investment to drive a seven-fold increase in the number of fast charging stations across urban and regional centres.