Australia’s government has been accused of operating on a “nothing” electric vehicle plan for one and a half years after no measures would render it more economical to purchase clean vehicles were included in a confidential draft policy report. A policy statement, first mentioned by the ABC and was seen by Guardian Australia, would not recommend immediate financial assistance to enable individuals to purchase electric cars or a phase-out deadline for the selling of the new fossil fuel automobiles, as proposed in some nations, like Japan, Britain, and Norway.

The paper, called a “future fuel strategy,” confirms a budget pledge of $74.5m in the financing, mainly for the county-wide deployment of charging facilities. It also recommends a 2-year Electric Vehicle trial for a government agency that provides lawmakers with drivers and cars and financing to upgrade the website of the “green vehicle guide.” It notes that the national administration’s vision is “to foster an ecosystem that allows consumers to choose,” while encouraging the growth of industry and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week’s official estimates indicated that transport pollution would continue to climb over the coming years, the pending government promises to resolve the climate crisis. EVs account for just 0.6% of new vehicle purchases in Australia, smaller than almost all similar nations. It is one of the few nations with no pollution or fuel-efficiency requirements for passenger vehicles. 

Electric Vehicle Council Chief Executive Officer Behyad Jafari stated the leaked paper revealed that over the last 18 months, the sector had partnered with the national government on the strategy without any outcome. “It’s been very clear that their goal was to end up with a report on it that says ‘EV policy,’ and they have one now. But there’s none in there,” said Jafari.

“In the department, good people are striving to do their work, but I feel this is quite representative of how strongly this was taken by the minister [for energy as well as emissions reduction, Angus Taylor].” He said several states’ mixture of recent revelations that they would impose a road-user levy on Electric cars as well as the federal policy document had given the industry a “quite distressed end to the year.”

The paper is marked December 2020 and is set to be published later this month, almost 2 years after preparations for a national Electric Vehicle policy were revealed by the government. In recent months, that has been scrapped and replaced with a wider solution that also includes vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells as well as biofuels. Still, EVs are deemed the most likely innovation to substitute fossil fuel automobiles.

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