The Federal Government released a discussion paper calling for submissions from industry to help form national policy on the implementation of low emissions road transport technologies. This policy will include elements which help establish the required infrastructure necessary to support hydrogen and plug-in electric vehicles. It is guided by three principles:
- Addressing barriers to the roll out of new vehicle technologies to increase consumer choice.
- Government investment in early-stage technologies to stimulate the market and private sector investment.
- Access to information to help people make informed choices.
In response the AADA has provided a set of key recommendations for the Government to consider, as follows:
The Federal Government has an important role to play in developing a strategy for the roll out of low emissions charging infrastructure with state governments, vehicle Manufacturers, electricity retailers and other private sector participants. As automotive Manufacturers role out new powertrain technology in vehicles, their franchised Dealers are required to install refuelling/recharging facilities as part of their franchise agreements. These facilities could potentially provide consumers with important refuelling/recharging points, especially in rural centres where public infrastructure may take longer to install and commission.
Dealers already play an important role in the delivery of vehicles to commercial fleet operators and in some circumstances are also responsible for the sale to fleets. The future fuels strategy should include Dealers as important providers of information, service and support for fleet buyers.
Biofuels may not be compatible with the fuel systems in some vehicles and may not be approved for use by some Manufacturers. This potentially creates a warranty risk for consumers and these risks need to be clearly conveyed to car buyers considering using these fuels. Consideration should be given to the use of these fuels to ensure realisation of the environmental benefits and mitigate potential consumer detriment.
Dealers currently provide consumers with comprehensive advice on motor vehicles which helps consumers to choose the car that is right for them. Dealers are an important source of information and support for customers both before and after the sale.`
The Government strategy will be supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and through significant government funding commitments of $74.5 million to the Future Fuels Package and $24.5 million to the Freight Energy Productivity program.