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National Electric Vehicle Strategy

01 November 2022

Australia’s transition to a net zero economy is underway.

The ATA supports the end to the climate wars and the passage of climate legislation which sets in place Australia’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 and reducing carbon emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. The development of the National Electric Vehicle Strategy will support Australia to realise this ambition.

Achieving net zero emissions is critical to reducing the impacts of climate change on our people and our economy.

As critical as meeting our climate goals is, net zero emissions are also an economic transition.

The Productivity Commission has stated-

The path of decarbonisation will be one of the most significant structural changes in Australian economic history. How we handle the twin challenges of efficient, low cost abatement at the same time as fostering and adopting emerging (and rapidly evolving) technologies will have major implications for productivity growth and living standards.

Freight and trucking are vital to the Australian economy. We’ve seen in recent years just how critical trucking is to modern Australia – right down to the accessibility of essentials such as toilet paper.

Growth in truck greenhouse emissions is being driven by growth in the economy. Zero emission trucks – both battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles – can enable our economy to keep growing whilst we bring down emissions.

Zero emission trucks will deliver lower costs, lower emissions and more choice.

Without a national electric vehicle strategy trucking operators have been locked into existing vehicle technology, with higher running costs and higher emissions. Existing regulatory, financial and infrastructure barriers are preventing a faster adoption of zero emission trucks.

We know that Australia’s trucking industry can reduce emissions whilst driving a growing economy because we have done it before. Australia has achieved a considerable reduction in noxious emissions at the same time as the size of the truck fleet and the kilometres travelled have increased substantially. This has been made possible by the investment decisions of industry – often well ahead of government regulation – to deliver both cleaner air and economic growth.

Whilst the trucking industry has now begun the transition to zero emissions – getting the policy framework right will help to realise this transition with the ambition of meeting Australia’s climate goals.

The National Electric Vehicle Strategy should include-

  • reforms to Australian Design Rules, including increased width and mass
  • a zero emission truck purchase price incentive
  • investment in electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for trucks
  • national reform on road user charging.