A group of cross-party MPs say that more must be done to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Australia, and are calling for electric vehicle chargers to installed in public and private car parks at parliament house to set an example to the wider community that EVs are a viable form of transport.
In a letter to Speaker Tony Smith and Senate President Scott Ryan, the group of MPs led cross-benchers Zali Steggall, Helen Haines and Rebekha Sharkie as well as a number of Liberal, Labor, and Greens MPs have called for the new stations, the Australian Financial Review reports.
The new calls come as the discussion heats up on the lack of action at a federal level to support the adoption of EVs.
While the US, Japan and Canada have pledged to slash emissions across the board in half by 2030 including in US president Biden’s case a commitment to transition the entire government fleet to electric, the Morrison government continues to stymie any fast-tracking of a local transition.
The federal government is currently trialling the use of two electric vehicles in the Comcar fleet over a two year period, which are being assessed to determine what infrastructure requirements and operational impacts adopting fleet-wide would have.
Independent MP for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie says “much needs to be done but supporting the transition to low emission vehicles by making Australia’s Parliament an electric-vehicle-friendly destination is a small but practical way to lead by example.”
The global average of electric vehicles sales in 2020 was 4.2% of all car sales, although in some countries it was much higher, with Norway leading the pack at 75% of sales.
In Australia EVs account for less than 1% of auto sales, excluding Tesla. Even with Tesla sales estimates included, the percentage of EV sales in Australia is not much more than 1%.
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.