MIA REEVES & ALASDAIR BEER
The founder of an electric car advocacy website says there will be a spike in the number of Australians driving the vehicles in the next five years.
Leo Kerr of Fremantle-based www.myelectriccar.com.au said price had been the main impediment to Australians adopting electric cars.
“In the US, they cost around $17,000 after a federal tax rebate,” Mr Kerr said.
“Conversely, they work out to around $40,000 in Australia.”
Mr Kerr said price had been the “main barrier”, but it was poised to become the “saviour”.
“We are on a wave that will crash in the next two to five years,” he said.
In that time, Mr Kerr says the price of electric cars will align with regular car prices.
However, presently the lack of infrastructure and public interest was precluding investment in Australia, he said.
“Even economic basket cases like Greece offer incentives to buy electric vehicles,” he said.
“Volkswagon wants to dominate the market, but won’t come to Australia because of the lack of infrastructure and interest.”
However, infrastructure would only improve with further investment.
Mr Kerr said Australia should follow the European lead and provide incentives for electric vehicles.
Perth Chair of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association Chris Jones said offering subsidies on electric cars was unfair.
“It’s not fair and equitable, and is too expensive,” he said.
He said it would be cheaper and fairer to ensure every house has the capacity to charge an electric vehicle.
“We should look at having inter-city and inter-town stations that people can use on popular driving routes,” he said.
Mr Jones said it was time for electric cars to be taken seriously.
“It’s not the future, it’s here,” he said.
Mr Jones said the affordability and performance of Tesla brand cars had inspired other EV manufacturers to lower their prices.
“We’ve passed the hump of EVs not being quite good enough and are now speeding down the other side,” he said.