Australian EV battery maker Tritium has managed to capture nearly half of the burgeoning Norwegian EV charging market, yet is making comparatively little headway at home.
Mr Cameron said a lack of government incentives would also ensure Australia remains a laggard when it comes to electric vehicle adoption.
“In terms of EV acceptance in Australia, it will be over the long-term simply because if you look at the opportunities – there aren’t any government incentives or things to drive consumers in that direction – it will take a longer period than in other countries where there are those incentives to drive people towards EVs,” Mr Cameron said.
He added that this has been compounded by a lack of choice in the market, particularly at the premium end.
“I think us leading the charge and creating more choice in the market at the luxury end will help us grow that market quite quickly, but the challenge is going to be for those volume manufacturers to bring their cars in volume and that’s where you need larger government support,” he said.
“The markets around the world where the acceptance and sales of EVs has happened rapidly have been where there is fiscal government support, like Norway, where half of all new vehicles registered are electric.”
On Thursday, Infrastructure Australia will present a paper to a Senate inquiry into electric vehicles outlining the ‘inevitability’ of EV uptake.
“As major car manufacturers and countries transition to electric vehicles and hybrids, Australia will have little choice but to follow suit,” Infrastructure Australia’s executive director of policy and research Peter Colacino’s statement says.
However, Dr Speth said while Jaguar Land Rover sees massive growth in the EV market, cars with internal combustion engines will continue to remain a large part of the global automotive market even as the company steps into EVs with the launch of the I-Pace.
“Battery electric vehicles are the future of mobility, but we don’t want to create a negative perception of internal combustion engines or diesel demonisation, these vehicles are continuing to get more environmentally friendly,” Dr Speth said.
As part of the EV’s launch into Australia, Dr Speth said Jaguar Land Rover’s plan to install 50-kilowatt charging stations at all its dealer networks will create the single largest electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the country.
The I-Pace has a range of around 470 kilometres on a full charge depending on how it is driven, Dr Speth said. It is capable of going from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour in 4.8 seconds, and is powered by a 90-kilowatt-hour battery.
The new electric vehicles are slated to hit Australian shores before the Christmas period and will come at a premium price tag of around $119,000.
While Australia is one of the last countries in the world to get the cars – they have already been integrated for trials in a taxi fleet in Munich, Germany – Dr Speth said this is merely because Australia is far away from the manufacturing facilities in Austria, rather than an indicator of the market.
“We’ve already clocked more than 4000 expressions of interest for the vehicle,” Mr Cameron added.
Part of this interest was sparked by the recent royal wedding of Prince Harry, which featured an electric Jaguar.
Covering energy and policy at Fairfax Media.