More Government Action Needed to Support EV Adoption Says BMW Boss

As the world’s leading car manufacturers commit to phasing out petrol cars, the Chief Executive of BMW Group Australia, Vikram Pawah, has said that the Federal government should play a larger role in educating the public about the benefits offered by electric vehicles (EVs).

A study released last week investigated Australia’s fleet marketplace with regards to EV adoption and found that limited action from the Federal government, high purchase costs and restricted availability were the leading causes for the market’s slow adoption.

“…the cost benefit of electrified vehicles is just one of the challenges facing uptake in Australia,” Mr. Pawah said, “Sustainable alternatives to electric vehicles are also in the dark, meaning concerns such as range anxiety are present among local buyers despite viable options such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles readily available in the market.”

Overseas, countries such as the United States, Norway and China have already begun investing in charging infrastructure, and have offered monetary incentives for buyers to purchase plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. Mr. Pawah has said investing in electro-mobility technology should be the obvious direction in Australia.

Last month, the Morrison government announced a $74.5 million Future Fuels Fund to assist businesses taking advantage of the opportunities offered by hydrogen, electric and bio-fuel vehicles. The policy, to be released in the coming months, will enable more infrastructure for charging and refueling in regional communities, encouraging the growth of commercial EVs.

“While these incentives are focused on business, they are a positive step in enlightening the wider public around electro-mobility and addressing the lack of knowledge about electric vehicles,” Mr. Pawah said.

Whilst the development of EVs is being led by major car manufacturers, the business incentives to invest in electrified product ranges will boost local market adoption, expanding rapidly as they reach price parity with petrol alternatives.

Further to this, the EV charging network, Chargefox, will this week announce the completion of the 18th of its 21 planned ultra-rapid stations across Australia. The project, in collaboration with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, allows drivers to traverse the coastline, and drive from Melbourne to Adelaide.

“Chargefox has powered over 2 million carbon-free kilometres and, once the state borders open and it is safe to go on driving holidays this summer, we are able to offer EV drivers the opportunity to explore Australia whilst reducing their carbon footprint,” said Marty Andrews, Chief Executive of Chargefox.

The company had more than 10,000 users on its app and powered over 140,000 EV charging sessions, Mr. Andrew reports.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald | BMW boss says federal government can do more to help EV adoption.

11 November 2020

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