Driving consumer choice & uptake of low-emissions vehicles

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.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy continues to Morrison Government’s focus on technology not taxes as we reduce emissions.

“Our plan about ensuring that families and business across Bonner can continue to choose the car that is right for them, be that petrol, diesel, hydrogen, hybrid or electric powered,” Mr Vasta said.

“We are not going to tell Australians what car to drive. Our plan is focused on expanding consumer choice, partnering with industry to drive uptake and addressing barriers to the rollout.”

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,”   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.

More information on the Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy is available here: https://industry.gov.au/FFVS

Read More

Australia’s plan to deliver net zero emissions by 2050

The Morrison Government will act in a practical, responsible way to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 while preserving Australian jobs and generating new opportunities for industries and regional Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor today released Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan (the Plan), to deliver net zero emissions by 2050.

The technology-driven plan sets out a credible pathway to net zero by 2050, while preserving our existing industries, establishing Australia as a leader in low emissions technologies, and positioning our regions to prosper.

The Plan is based on our existing policies and will be guided by five principles that will ensure Australia’s shift to a net zero economy will not put industries, regions or jobs at risk.

The principles are: technology not taxes; expand choices not mandates; drive down the cost of a range of new technologies; keep energy prices down with affordable and reliable power; and, be accountable for progress.

The Plan focuses on driving down technology costs and accelerating their deployment at scale across the economy.

Over the next decade, our existing $20 billion investment in low emissions technology is expected to unlock at least $80 billion of total private and public investment, including in clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and energy storage.

The Plan also identifies the potential for continued technology advances and breakthroughs to unlock ultra low‑cost solar. As part of the annual update to the Technology Investment Roadmap, we have set a stretch goal of solar electricity generation at $15 per megawatt hour (MWh). Australia is a world leader in renewable energy, and cheap, clean electricity is integral to lowering emissions in the electricity sector and other industries in Australia.

The Plan shows how our priority technologies will deliver 85 per cent of the emissions reductions necessary to achieve net zero by 2050. This is achieved through our strong track record, with emissions already more than 20 per cent lower than 2005 levels, the Technology Investment Roadmap which will reduce emissions by around 40 per cent, global technology trends that will reduce emissions by 15 per cent, and high-integrity offsets that will achieve at least a further 10 per cent reduction.

It recognises the role future technology breakthroughs will play in closing the gap, with new and emerging technologies to reduce emissions by a further 15 per cent by 2050.

The Plan rules out taxes or a legislated mechanism, because these regressive approaches would impose costs on households, businesses and regions least able to afford them.

It includes five-yearly reviews that will enable us to evaluate progress and adapt to advances in technology.

 The Prime Minister said the Plan would continue to reduce Australia’s emissions while keeping our economy growing, maintaining affordable, reliable energy, and ensuring our regions remain strong.

“Australia now has a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and we have a clear plan for achieving it,” the Prime Minister said. “The Plan outlines responsible, practical action to achieve net zero that is in our national interest.

“The Plan will deliver results through technology, not taxes. It respects people’s choice, and will not force mandates on what people can do or buy. It guarantees that we keep downward pressure on energy prices and secures reliable power. It will ensure Australia continues to serve traditional markets, while taking advantage of new economic opportunities.

“Australia will continue to build on our record of reducing emissions and achieve our targets in the Australian way.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Plan outlines an Australian way to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Australia will continue to reduce emissions while growing our economy, maintaining affordable, reliable energy and ensuring our regions remain strong,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our Plan continues the policies that we have already put in place and that we know have worked.”
“Our technology-driven approach will continue our strong emissions reduction record while preserving traditional industries and establishing Australia as a leader in emerging low emissions technologies.”

Minister Taylor said Australia’s emissions reduction story had been one of consistent achievement, and the Plan had been designed for Australia.

“Our Plan continues the policies and initiatives that we have already put in place and that have proven to be successful, while preserving existing industries and jobs, and supporting regional Australia,” Minister Taylor said.  “It will not shut down coal or gas production, or require displacement of productive agricultural land.

“Between 2005 and 2021, Australia’s emissions fell by 20.8 per cent, outpacing the reductions of the United States, Canada and New Zealand, and every other major commodity exporting nation in the world. The most recent forecast shows we will cut our emissions by up to 35 per cent by 2030.

“Under our Plan, the Technology Investment Roadmap and global trends will see Australia reduce its emissions by 85 per cent by 2050. We are committed to closing the gap to net zero over the next three decades in a way that is consistent with Liberal Party and National Party values.

“Our Plan is built on a set of key principles; the most important being technology, not taxes. Unlike Labor, we won’t introduce a carbon tax that drives Australian jobs overseas and punishes the most vulnerable in our community through higher prices for electricity and other essentials.”

Latest official projections released today show Australia is on track to reduce emissions by up to 35 per cent by 2030, well above our target of 26-28 per cent.

The Plan will maintain this momentum.

More information at: positiveenergy.gov.au and industry.gov.au/AEP2021

Read More

Harnessing new technology to lower emissions

Investing in low emissions technologies to strengthen our economy and support jobs and businesses is a Morrison Government priority as we navigate the road to recovery from COVID-19.

The government has released the Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper to bring a strategic and system-wide view on future investments in low emissions technologies.

With an opportunity to develop new industries and jobs, investing in new and emerging low-emission technologies is a win for the economy and a win for the environment.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Technology Investment Roadmap was the next step in the Morrison Government’s technology not taxes approach to reducing emissions.

“We are focused on putting Australia at the forefront of research and development and maintaining our strong track record of reducing global emissions,” Mr Vasta said.

“Emissions are lower today than when we were elected in 2013 and deploying the right technology when and where it is needed will allow Australia to capture new opportunities to reduce emissions even further.

“Real action on technology, not taxes, is the pathway to further remissions reduction here and around the world.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said there was enormous potential in technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, soil carbon sequestration, biofuels, resources and energy exports to reduce emissions while strengthening our economy.

“This is about developing technologies to support jobs growth and this is also about ensuring mums and dads and small businesses are paying a fair cost for energy, and not imposing taxes on them,” Minister Taylor said.

“At its core, this is about technology not taxes.

“It means reducing emissions, not reducing jobs and the economy and it is an approach based on rigour, confidence, optimism, and Australian ingenuity not ideology.

“The alternative is to sign up to long term targets without a clear plan, an approach that will penalise energy-intensive industries and reduce economic activity.”

The Roadmap goals will be developed in consultation with industry, researchers and the financial sector, with progress reported through an annual Low Emissions Technology Statement.

The Roadmap will be a cornerstone of Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy, to be released ahead of COP26.

The Government has already made substantial investments in clean energy technology, with more than $10 billion invested in more than 670 clean energy projects with a total project value in excess of $35 billion.

To contribute to this important national conversation or learn more about the Roadmap process, visit https://consult.industry.gov.au/climate-change/technology-investment-roadmap/.

Written submissions are open until Sunday 21 June 2020.

Read More