Energy minister Angus Taylor has done it again – grabbed a front page headline in the Murdoch media with a patently lubricous claim about the impact of Labor electric vehicle policy. And the Electric Vehicle Council has had enough.
The EVC’s Behyad Jafari on Thursday issued a statement saying that the claims published in Murdoch media, that billions would need to be spent installing three-phase capacity on all new houses to deal with EV charging stations was the silliest claim yet, and “truly ludicrous.”
Readers won’t be surprised, because it’s yet another spurious outcry from the minister , who along with prime minister Scott Morrison and much of the rest of Cabinet last month launched a fake news campaign against electric vehicles that was debunked thoroughly here on The Driven.
The latest claim, published this morning in the Daily Telegraph, is simply a laughable lie, says Jafari.
Taylor told the Murdoch tabloid that: “Labor is not only proposing a new tax on your new car but also on your new home. There’s a whole raft of costs that Labor have not even considered that come with this policy.”
A spokeswoman for Labor described the suggestion of a housing tax as a desperate lie. “The Liberals will say and do anything to try to distract from their Clive Palmer-Pauline Hanson coalition of chaos”.
Jafari says the scare might be the silliest scare tactic yet.
“Mr Taylor has cooked up with some truly ridiculous and dishonest scare tactics during the course of this campaign. They are tactics that should, frankly, be beneath the Energy Minister of Australia,” Jafari said.
“This ‘housing tax’ line is a contender for the silliest scare tactic yet, perhaps even sillier than the Prime Minister predicting “the end of the weekend.”
In addition to ensuring all new and refurbished buildings are able to accommodate at-home or at-work vehicle charging at a minimal cost, the policy would in fact save people money in the long run, says Jafari.
“Making sure new buildings are future-proofed and able to charge vehicles efficiently is common sense given that everyone – including the Liberal Party – acknowledges that a mass transition to EVs is coming. The costs are minimal at build.
“By contrast doing nothing would be the costly option, because it would ensure that people would be forced to pay more later to upgrade retrospectively.”
Jafari notes that not only is Taylor’s suggestion completely ridiculous, the Liberal NSW government also recommends measures to ensure building readiness for EVs as part of its Future Transport 2056 plan.
In the 51 page document, the NSW government recommends action be taken in three priority areas – vehicle availability, charging infrastructure and consumer information.
In regards to EV charging infrastructure, the document reads, among other points:
We will also investigate:
›› measures to make buildings ‘EV ready’ – ensuring that new buildings cater for EV charging
›› the use of National Construction Code and Wiring Rules – to provide guidance on options to retrofit charging points in existing buildings
›› further streamline approval processes for installing charging points – to make the installation of charging points quicker and cheaper
Taylor, however, is in a rich vein of scare campaigns – complaining even that Labor – through a program to install solar and storage in public schools, “wants to turn our schools into power stations.”
— ????simon holmes à court (@simonahac) April 30, 2019
Taylor has also been leading the scare campaign over the 45 per cent emissions reduction target, with the latest episode hitting the newspapers on Thursday, as Giles Parkinson reports in RenewEconomy.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.