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Govt auto assistance fails to shift gears to electric cars: Bandt

Greens MP and industry spokesperson says the government cannot continue to prop up the failing car industry without commitments from the industry to move to electric vehicles.

Mr Bandt says the Greens support assistance but future co-investment in the auto industry needs to set goals and milestones on electric car development by the industry.

He also offered to work with the government to secure car industry assistance and put it beyond the reach of Tony Abbott, if the government is prepared to secure a future for electric vehicles.

The government announced a further $275 million in State and Federal assistance to Holden today.

"We support helping those sectors that are doing it tough but the Australian car industry is stalled and going backwards," Mr Bandt said.

"The government says this money will support next generation cars but next generation is electric."

"We are making the same or fewer cars now then we did in the 60s. Something has got change if the industry is to survive."

"The world is moving to electric mobility. The government needs to help the industry to get ahead of the game and shift gears to electric cars."

"If the government is prepared to lock in a future for electric vehicles we're prepared to lock-in car industry assistance and put it beyond the reach of Tony Abbott."

"There is no long term future for jobs if the industry can not survive and export. Survival means real innovation."

"It is also important that this announcement ensures that any new manufacturing support, rather than constrain, the ongoing process of establishing vehicle CO2 emission standards. The Greens believe that these standards should be at least as stringent as the EU by 2020."

 "The government has to take responsibility for this. It scrapped the Green Car Investment Fund against the advice of the Greens and failed to put in place the carrots and sticks to get the industry to innovate properly."

Information: Damien Lawson 0487 900 005


Greens Electric Car Industry Policy

  • The Greens will continue to support co-investment in the car industry assistance, but future automotive industry assistance must be conditional on the adoption of goals and milestones for electric vehicle development and manufacture;
  • Allocate at least $75 million in annual assistance earmarked for EVs to such a fund for the roll out of electric vehicle infrastructure in all capital cities;
  • Immediately place on the Council of Australian Government's agenda the development of a policy framework for EV including: 
      • implementation of consumer incentives for electric vehicle ownership including, registration rebates or cash-backs, tax credits as well as significant targets for government fleets;
      • putting in place a regulatory environment that supports electric vehicles such as regulation of deployment and the setting of competition and policy standards;
      • maximising energy opportunities through appropriate regulation, such as requiring "smart" charging sourced through renewable energy;
      • industry policy that develops the electric vehicle sector in Australia, such as battery manufacturer and servicing, engineering and manufacturing of vehicles or parts in Australia.
  • The Prime Minister and the government, like and US and Germany, should commit to a near term target for the take up of electric vehicles in Australia.
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