Path forward for electric vehicles in Australia

Thursday 7 April 2016

The electric bus team stand in their research lab

Swinburne has long been a leader in the development of electric vehicle technology and has a dedicated Electric Vehicle Research Group.

In summary

  • Researchers at Swinburne are calling for the Federal government to support the uptake of electric vehicles
  • Making the switch to electric vehicles can help reduce air pollution
  • If uptake is to increase, changes need to be made to tax incentives and infrastructure regulations 

Researchers at Swinburne have joined industry bodies around Australia, calling for the Federal Government to support the uptake of electric vehicles.

In a joint submission released today, the Federal Government is being urged to support the move from petrol and diesel, to electric cars.

Electric vehicles can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. If the uptake is to increase in Australia, changes need to be made to areas including tax incentives and infrastructure regulations, according to Professor Ajay Kapoor, Swinburne Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Research Engagement and Development).

“We need to make it more financially appealing for consumers to consider purchasing electric vehicles,” Professor Kapoor says.

”This could include incentives such as exempting them from fringe benefits tax, providing rebates on their car registration and reduced parking costs in the CBD.”

The submission also highlights the need for improved electric vehicle infrastructure in Australia.

“Most electric vehicle charging is done at work and at home. Therefore, we’re encouraging federal and state governments to work with developers to ensure that all new multi-dwelling buildings, apartments and office buildings have electric vehicle charging planned and built from construction.

“Combined with targeted programs aimed at encouraging workplace and home charging, this could make electric vehicle use more convenient and affordable.”

Swinburne a leader in electric vehicle technology

Swinburne has long been a leader in the development of electric vehicle technology and has a dedicated Electric Vehicle Research Group.

Working in partnership with BusTech and AutoCRC, Swinburne helped develop the first electric bus to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia, in 2015.

The team launched the concept electric bus at the BusVic expo in Melbourne and is working on pre-production of the prototype model, which will be suited to tropical climates. The buses also have the potential to vastly reduce pollution and will be significantly cheaper to run and maintain than the diesel-fuel buses currently on Australia’s roads. 

In 2013, Victoria's first fast charging station, which is capable of charging an electric vehicle in 30 minutes, was opened at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus by former Minister for Public Transport and Roads, Terry Mulder.

Unlike most conventional charging stations, the fast charging station is capable of charging electric vehicles in 30-60 minutes. Plugged into a normal outlet, electric vehicles can take 8-10 hours to completely charge.

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