Joint media release: Accelerating Australia's electric vehicle potential

19 August 2022

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy 
The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government


The Albanese Government is unlocking the nation’s electric vehicle potential and putting in place the next steps to establish Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy. 

A discussion paper on the National Electric Vehicle Strategy will shortly be released for wide consultation. 

At the heart of the Strategy will be a plan to improve uptake of electric vehicles and improve affordability and choice by growing the Australian electric vehicle market. 

Australia is significantly behind the pack when it comes to electric vehicles - at last count, consumers in the United Kingdom could take their pick of 26 low-emissions vehicles under $60,000. In Australia that number is only 8. 

At 2%, our uptake of new low-emissions vehicles is also nearly five times lower than the global average – national leadership is needed to ensure we don’t continue to be left behind. 

In this context, we believe that now is the time to have an orderly and sensible discussion about whether vehicle fuel efficiency standards could help improve the supply of electric vehicles into the Australian market, to address the cost-of-living impacts of inefficient cars, and to reduce emissions from the transport sector. 

Apart from Russia, Australia is the only OECD country to not have, or be in the process of developing, fuel efficiency standards. 

The development of a National Electric Vehicle Strategy is an opportunity to explore options and details about how an Australian fuel efficiency standard could work and the benefits of a standard – such as getting more affordable electric vehicles to market and reducing household transport costs from inefficient vehicles. 

In recognition of the importance of all jurisdictions working together to tackle this challenge and opportunity, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy and Minister for Transport have written to state and territory ministers inviting participation in the development of the Strategy. 

The Government has already acted to make electric cars cheaper through the removal of fringe benefits tax and the five per cent import tariff for eligible electric vehicles. 

We are committed to ensuring Australians have access to world’s best transport technology including by investing in the Driving the Nation plan which will: 

  • Establish a truly national EV charging network - with charging stations at an average interval of 150km on major roads. 
  • Create a national Hydrogen Highways refuelling network. 
  • Set a Low Emission Vehicle target for the Commonwealth fleet of 75% of new leases and purchases by 2025. 

It’s time Australian households and businesses are able to reap the benefits of transport that is cheaper to run and delivers lower emissions – and the Albanese Government is putting the wheels in motion on our electric vehicle future. 

Quotes attributable to Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen: 

“The Albanese Government will provide the leadership that’s been lacking at the federal level, to work collaboratively with the states and territories, industry, unions and consumer groups to deliver Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy – that is fit for the 21st century. 

“Up until now, Australian households and businesses have had very little choice regarding low-emissions and fuel-efficient vehicles, and they have been paying for it. 

“Today’s announcement forms part of our upcoming consultation on Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy to make EVs cheaper, increase their uptake and roll out more charging infrastructure – ensuring more Australians can access these vehicles and reap the benefits. 

Quotes attributable to Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King: 

“We’re committed to ensuring an Australian vehicle market provides consumers with easier access to affordable and popular cars, including EVs that are better for the back pocket and the environment. 

“We want to hear your views on how best to design fuel efficiency standards in Australia to meet industry and consumer needs now and for generations to come, so I encourage people to have their say.”