Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says he expects to see a “very large” percentage of electric vehicles on Australia’s roads in the “very near future,” and he will be joining the rapidly expanding list of EV owners.
Turnbull, who was effusive of his praise of the Tesla factory, and of the Model S after a test drive way back in 2015 – before he became prime minister – indicated that he was still interested in EVs.
“No doubt I will at some point,” Turnbull said when asked by RenewEconomy after is speech at the Smart Energy Council’s NSW Energy Summit in Sydney on Tuesday.
“My wife has a plug-in hybrid which does about 30kms on all electric, which actually covers a lot of your trips in the city,” Turnbull said.
We’re not sure exactly which make of hybrid Lucy Turnbull owns (if anyone can help out, please let us know), but there would be no issues charging an EV with renewables at the Turnbull compound, given his Point Piper home has more than 14kW of rooftop solar and a significant amount of battery storage.
“Everything I hear about EVs suggests that we are going to see a very large percentage of all electric vehicles in the very near future,” Turnbull said.
“I don’t think we need to subsidise electric vehicles by the way, you won’t get much additionality out of that. The new EVs are going to be sufficiently cheap that people will buy them.”
So far, however, no EVs are priced below $A50,000, although the new full battery electric Hyundai Ioniq will likely achieve that (at least in some states, after on road costs) when it becomes available for sale next week.
Australian EV sales reach barely 1,000 a year, and the country trails the world in the uptake of EVs. The findings and recommendations of a Senate inquiry into EVs is likely to be delayed until late January.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of www.TheDriven.io, and also edits and founded RenewEconomy.com.au and OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au. He has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.