21/05/2020 - 11:27

Electric vehicles return to agenda

21/05/2020 - 11:27

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Electric vehicles and pumped hydro are high on the federal government’s list of short-term priorities to reduce emissions, a new report shows, as Energy Minister Angus Taylor quietly moves towards an interventionist emissions policy.

Electric vehicles return to agenda
The roadmap suggests electric vehicles will be a cost saver for the economy.

Electric vehicles and pumped hydro are high on the federal government’s list of short-term priorities to reduce emissions, a new report shows, as Energy Minister Angus Taylor quietly moves towards an interventionist emissions policy.

The Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper includes an indicative list of priority technologies the government plans to support, including pumped hydro, large-scale solar projects and offshore wind.

One inclusion that might raise eyebrows is electric vehicles, both battery and hybrid.

Electric vehicle policy became an election issue last year, with ministers arguing a target would impose costs on consumers.

The roadmap’s modelling indicates plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be a net cost saver for the economy, lowering costs by about $100 for every tonne of carbon emissions saved.

Source: Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper

“In the transport sector, hybrids, alternative fuels and electric vehicles present opportunities to improve road transport efficiency and reduce emissions, although pre-2030 abatement potential is limited by the turnover of Australia’s light vehicle fleet (average age of 10 years) and the readiness of these technologies to support emissions reduction in the heavy vehicle fleet,” the report said.

“Both battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles are predicted to experience increasing uptake. 

“While sometimes seen as competing technologies, they each meet specific consumer and industry needs. 

“For example, fuel cells are considered more readily scalable to bigger vehicles, heavier loads and longer distances such as in long-haul transport.

“Current battery technology constraints suggest BEVs are more likely to be suited to personal use and light commercial vehicles, particularly back-to-base fleets.”

Emissions strategy

Mr Taylor has made a series of announcements this week, including potential support for carbon capture and storage through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

He has also said the government was on track to meet its Paris Agreement emissions target of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

“Our 2030 Paris target is a floor, not a ceiling,” Mr Taylor said earlier this week. 

“These reforms will position Australia to overachieve on our 2030 Paris target while maintaining a strong economy.”

It follows a $1 billion grid reliability fund announced earlier this year.

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