With only days left until this weekend’s federal election, the Coalition is continuing to churn out its massively twisted housing tax lie: namely, that if elected, Labor will “tax” everyone who builds a new home by forcing them to spend thousands of dollars to install three-phase electric vehicle chargers.
Speaking in an interview that has been published on Soundcloud and this time shared on Twitter by former ALP president and now Liberal candidate Warren Mundine, minister for energy Angus Taylor also said Labor would also force homeowners renovating their homes – even if just a small renovation – to install three-phase chargers.
“They are going to require a new and renovated home just set up charging facilities for electric vehicles,” Taylor claims.
“Then does that mean you’ve got to have three-phase power which will cost you $3-4,000 to put in and then you’ve got to put the charger in on top of that which will be a few thousand top of that just if you do a renovation?”
No, actually, it just means that if you want to charge an EV at home will need a power point. And it just so happens that every Australian house has them already, and they don’t cost everything. Because, you know, people like to watch TV, plug in the fridge, stuff like that.
Taylor has launched an extraordinary campaign against EVs since Labor unveiled its 50 per cent target for EVs as a percentage of new car sales by 2030.
Many have already been soundly rebutted by Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari as “truly ludicrous”, but he has produced a regular line of bollocks in the Murdoch media, about charging times (five days with a solar household), and travel times in an EV (nearly treble the time in an EV from Sydney to the Gold Coast).
Taylor has been called out on this by RenewEconomy and The Driven, and more recently on Twitter by both Jafari and tech entrepreneur and billionaire Michael Cannon-Brookes (he of the Tesla big battery millionaire tweets with Musk).
“This sort of lying should be illegal. It’s utter crap,” said Cannon-Brookes.
This sort of lying should be illegal. It’s utter crap.
Straight up lie.
We can differ on policies. But truth? 🤬 https://t.co/NHQuvO4OZG
— Mike Cannon-Brookes 👨🏼💻🧢 (@mcannonbrookes) May 14, 2019
“Angus Taylor 100% knows what he’s saying is untrue. He knows it because I’ve advised his government who agrees on future proofing new builds (putting a wire in the right spot), it’ll be in their so called ‘EV Strategy’ and every state govt agrees it’s necessary,” said Jafari.
Angus Taylor 100% knows what he's saying is untrue. He knows it because I've advised his government who agrees on future proofing new builds (putting a wire in the right spot), it'll be in their so called 'EV Strategy' and every state govt agrees it's necessary. https://t.co/Ft8cJkhzuF
— 💧 Behyad Jafari (@BJafari) May 14, 2019
What Labor (and any sensible party worth its weight in politicians) will do is ensure that building codes and regulations are developed to make sure buildings and apartments are ready for the transition to electric vehicles – a fact that all parties already agree is inevitable, Jafari tells The Driven.
“It’s vitally important, both sides agree there’s going to be a large scale shift to electric vehicles,” he says.
“What it actually means is that it will require states to cooordinate on building codes and regulations.”
“If it’s a home, in the future if someone wants to buy an electric vehicle, [the codes will] make sure the wiring is correct … like putting a telephone socket in.”
“For larger buildings there are a number of ways to do this, such as ensuring there are smart energy systems in place – this is really one of the most basic and dare I say boring reforms to make sure regulations and codes are in place for electric vehicles,” Jafari says.
The suggestion that such a policy would require three-phase outlets and chargers to be fitted is also simply incorrect.
Electrician and owner of Light Touch Electrical, Tim Hodgson, who regularly installs solar and electric vehicle home chargers, says that while a three-phase charger can charge a car quicker, it’s not even available to all streets.
“They can charge a lot faster – generally speaking though residential places don’t install them, they’re more for commercial buildings,” Hodgson says.
Jafari – who has advised all sides of government on the need to future-proof homes and buildings with EV wiring codes, adds, “Three-phase is not necessary, [although] people can choose to have more.”
That’s if three-phase is available on your street says Hodgson, although if you’re going to get three-phase it is cheaper to do it during the building phase rather than retrofit.
What is more likely is that home residences will only be required to have single-phase wiring (the normal wiring already in place for every residential home).
“I know for a fact that [the Coalition] are lying about this, because they have gotten better advice,” Jafari says. “This isn’t controversial, they’ve thought they could spin this – it’s beyond disappointing to see.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.