Government backs electric cars
Backed by an expanded $250 million Future Fuels Fund investment, the strategy allows for a major investment in public electric-vehicle charging stations and household smart charging.
Exactly what this will mean for electric car owners hasn’t yet been fleshed out but it’s fair to assume that charging electric vehicles at home and on-the-road will get cheaper and more convenient.
The expanded Future Fuels Fund will focus on four key areas of investment:
- Public electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure
- Heavy and long-distance vehicle technologies
- Commercial fleets
- Household smart charging
Of the $250 million in funds, $178 million has set aside to help with infrastructure deployment, which is expected to create 2600 new jobs.
Thousands of charging stations promised
According to the government, more than 50,000 households and 400 businesses will get access to private charging infrastructure, alongside at least 1000 public charging stations, with the goal of getting 1.7 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
Not just battery-electric cars, but also plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles are included in this target.
By 2030, the government expects these three vehicle categories to account for 30% of all new vehicle sales.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised that the plan will help to lower the price of new electric technologies so they are easier to adopt.
“The strategy will work to drive down the cost of low and zero-emission vehicles, and enhance consumer choice,” Mr Morrison said.
“Just as Australians have taken their own decision to embrace roof-top solar at the highest rate in the world, when new vehicle technologies are cost competitive Australians will embrace them too.”
Electric car finance
The expanded Future Fuels Fund complements the Federal Government’s existing program to drive down the cost of electric vehicles with subsidised finance.
That program, administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, supports interest rate discounts for buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The CEFC works closely with Firstmac, which offers a substantial 0.7% interest rate discount on loans to buyers of electric or hybrid vehicles.
For a $50,000 car loan, that is a saving of almost $1000 over five years!