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Anthony Albanese will introduce policies to boost the take-up of electric vehicles but will stop short of imposing a ban on petrol or diesel cars as part of his plan to tackle climate change.
The Labor Party will introduce tax benefits to make electric cars – and plug-in hybrids – cheaper and is forecasting that 89 per cent of new car sales will be electric by 2030.
It remains to be seen whether the Greens will pursue their ambitious policies – such as banning petrol cars – in the senate where they can use their balance of power position as leverage on Labor.
Anthony Albanese (pictured with Penny Wong) has declared his Government will ‘end the climate wars’ and take action to significantly reduce emissions in Australia
The Labor Party will introduce tax benefits to make electric cars cheaper and is forecasting that 89 per cent of new car sales will be electric by 2030. Pictured: A petrol car
Mr Albanese’s new Government will also invest in boosting the electricity grid so it can cope with a big increase in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Former Energy Minister Angus Taylor claimed the plan would push up power prices by $560 a year, an outlandish claim that was quickly de-bunked by experts – but there could be some smaller short-term price rises.
Here’s what you need to know about Labor’s climate and energy plans.
Electric car discount
Labor’s climate plans include a national electric vehicle strategy.
Electric cars will be exempt from a five per cent import tariff that would reduce the cost of a $40,000 vehicle by $2,000.
They will also be exempt from fringe benefits tax which will encourage workplaces to give their employees electric cars.
The move would result in savings of up to $8,700 for a $50,000 vehicle.
The tax cuts will be introduced on July 1 this year and will be reviewed in three years.
Labor’s climate plans include a national electric vehicle strategy. Mr Albanese (centre) visited an electric car dealership in Sydney in March
Labor’s car policies
Electric cars will be exempt from a five per cent import tariff
They will also be exempt from fringe benefits tax
Investment in fast charging stations
Forecast 89% of new car sales to be electric by 2030
No sales targets or ban on petrol cars
Labor will also invest $39.3 million, matched by the NRMA, to deliver 117 fast charging stations on highways across Australia.
This will provide charging stations at an average interval of 150km on major roads, allowing Aussies to drive from Adelaide to Perth or Darwin to Broome with an electric car.
The result of these policies is that electric vehicles will make up 89 per cent of new car sales by 2030, with 15 per cent of all cars on the road by then being zero-emission.
According to this forecast, 3.8million vehicles on the road will be electric by 2030.
There is no electric vehicle sales target but Labor will overhaul the Commonwealth fleet to make it electric.
Labor dropped former leader Bill Shorten’s plans to introduce average emissions standards for new vehicles.
In Australia just 1.5 per cent of cars sold are electric and plug-in hybrid. This compares to 17 per cent in the United Kingdom and 85 per cent in Norway.
Rewiring the nation
Mr Albanese wants to invest $20billion to rebuild and modernise the electricity grid, bringing forward 11 transmission plans already flagged by the Australian Energy Market Operator.
The Labor leader says the plan, which will attract $58billion of private investment, will allow cheaper renewable sources to supply 82 per cent of electricity by 2030, and will save households $275 a year by 2025, and $378 by 2030.
Mr Taylor claimed the upgrades will actually increase prices by $560 a year by pushing up supply costs known as ‘poles and wires charges’ which make up about 46 per cent of a household bill.
But his estimate only focussed on transmission costs not wholesale costs which will be pushed down by cheaper renewable energy.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor claimed upgrades to the grid will increase prices by pushing up supply costs known as ‘poles and wires charges’ – but experts de-bunked his claims
He reached his figures by falsely assuming that Labor’s plan would increase the size of the transmission network to almost $100billion.
Dr Dylan McConnell, Research Fellow at the Climate and Energy College told Daily Mail Australia that Mr Taylor’s claim ‘does not have any merit’.
He said that some transmission costs may be brought forward by Labor’s plan but these would be offset by bringing forward lower wholesale costs.
‘The ALP bringing forward some of the projects might in turn bring forward some of the transmission costs – but on the other hand, it will also bring forward new supply, increased competition, and reduced wholesale prices,’ he said.
Dr McConnell said it was a ‘mug’s game’ to predict power prices in years to come.
‘I am wary of forecasts of power price impact in 10 years… particularly given what’s going on with wholesale prices at the moment,’ he said.
Energy costs have been rapidly increasing due to a worldwide shortage of coal, oil and gas amid the end of Covid lockdowns and war in Europe, meaning Aussies would have faced higher prices regardless of who won Saturday’s election.
Mr Albanese wants to install 400 community batteries – each about the size of a four-wheel-drive car – across the country.
They will store solar power from people’s rooftop panels and will allow households that can’t install solar – like apartment owners and renters – to draw from excess electricity.
This will bring power prices down and reduce pressure on the grid by allowing stored solar power to flow into homes at peak hours.
The Labor leader wants cheaper renewable sources to supply 82 per cent of electricity by 2030. Pictured: A wind farm in far north Queensland
Mr Albanese will also tighten the safeguard mechanism to stop Australia’s 215 biggest emitters – including coal mines, concrete makers and metal smelters – from producing lots more carbon.
Under the mechanism, introduced by the Coalition, the polluters must keep emissions below historic levels known as the baseline.
If they go over this level, they must buy carbon credits to offset the excess pollution.
But the Coalition allowed the caps to be re-adjusted so companies could avoid doing this.
Labor wants to the the Clean Energy Regulator to set the pollution caps and keep them in place.
The ALP will also allocate up to $3billion from its National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals and clean energy manufacturing.
Labor says its plan will reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong, who was sworn in on Monday following Labor’s victory, released a recorded message detailing the government’s plan to ‘build a stronger Pacific family’.
‘The Australian government knows that nothing is more central to the security and well-being of the Pacific than climate change,’ Senator Wong said.
‘We have heard the Pacific and we will act, standing shoulder to shoulder with the Pacific as we address the climate crisis.’
In his first press conference Mr Albanese said he wanted to ‘send a message to the world that there’s a new government in Australia and it’s a government that represents a change, in terms of the way that we deal with the world on issues like climate change.’
Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (centre) poses for pictures with his new cabinet ministers, Jim Chalmers (left), Penny Wong (second left), Richard Marles (second right) and Katy Gallagher (right)