Government unveils new plan to drive consumer choice and uptake of low-emissions vehicles

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Image Credit: Australian Government | Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

The Federal Government has published Australia’s first Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy, which is supported by an increased $250 million Future Fuel Fund investment.

The paper was unveiled at Toyota’s Hydrogen Centre in Altona, Melbourne, by Prime Minister Scott Morrison; Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor; and Assistant Minister Tim Wilson, along with Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson and Victorian MP Dr Katie Allen.

The technology-led Strategy will see the Government collaborate with businesses to increase consumer options, create jobs, and reduce pollution in the Australian transportation sector.

The expanded Future Fuels Fund, will focus on four key areas of investment, including:

  • Public electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure
  • Heavy and long-distance vehicle technologies
  • Commercial fleets
  • Household smart charging

The Strategy will be implemented with an expanded $250 million Future Fuels Fund, which includes $178 million in new funding.

Making the announcement, Prime Minister Morrison said the Strategy was expected to result in more than $500 million of combined private and public co-investment directed into the uptake of future fuels in Australia and the creation of more than 2,600 new jobs.

“Australians love their family sedan, farmers rely on their trusted ute and our economy counts on trucks and trains to deliver goods from coast to coast,” Mr Morrison continued.

“We will not be forcing Australians out of the car they want to drive or penalising those who can least afford it through bans or taxes. Instead, the Strategy will work to drive down the cost of low and zero emission vehicles, and enhance consumer choice.

“We will do this by creating the right environment for industry co-investment in technology development.

Toyota Australia President and CEO Matthew Callachor said the company “welcomes all initiatives designed to reduce emissions in Australia”.

“We strongly support all initiatives that accelerate the rollout of low and zero-emissions vehicles by improving access to charging and refuelling infrastructure,” he said.

“Already, we have more than 220,000 hybrid electric vehicles on the road, contributing significantly to lowering emissions in Australia.

“Globally, Toyota has adopted a portfolio approach to electrification, with options including the hydrogen fuel-cell Mirai, a 100 per cent electric vehicle, powered by hydrogen, as well as hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles.

“This choice of powertrain is important, as it recognises the different practical needs and varying locations of Australian customers.”

Minister Taylor said the Strategy sets out the Government’s technology-led approach to reducing transport emissions while ensuring Australians can drive their preferred type of vehicle – be that petrol, diesel, hydrogen or electric powered.

“Our technology-led approach is already helping to enhance consumer and industry confidence. In the last eight months there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of low emissions vehicle models available in Australia, Minister Taylor added.

“We are continuing to invest in the right infrastructure, while ensuring both those in the cities and regions can access this $250 million Fund.”

Image Credit: <a href=”www.industry.gov.au”>Australian Government | Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources</a>