The environmentally driven preference of shifting from petrol cars to electric vehicles is attracting big utilities to enter the market. Australia’s one of the biggest utilities Origin Energy, claims that the country has the potential of becoming market leader in the solar-powered electric vehicles, provided the proper policies and incentives are able to foster the uptake of renewable energy and lead to the closure of brown coal power stations that are involved in releasing pollution.
Due to the existing high penetration of the residential solar PV systems in South Australia and Queensland, and the emergence of home battery technologies, there is a good opportunity for Australia to become a market leader in electric vehicles powered by solar energy, as suggested by the company in a submission to the Climate Change Authority.
A quarter of Australian residences are equipped with rooftop solar, and the country is considered as the potential first “mass-market” for battery storage, due to the high solar penetration and country’s high electricity prices.
Origin says that the electric vehicle market has a significant potential, however the take-up has been small, with less than 1,000 vehicles sold to the end of 2014. Although, those numbers have taken a flight due to the demand for Tesla Model S, and more recent interest in the upcoming Model 3.
The company has suggested various policies that would help in growing the demand, such as support for fleet purchase, infrastructure such as charge points, and reduction for stamp duty and registration, along with preferential parking and traffic lanes treatment.
The company has also hinted towards the opportunities for Australian industry to become highly involved in the manufacturing and support of electric vehicle components, and charging infrastructure.
Currently, Australia has no standards over its vehicle emissions, and while the Australian government is on discussions about introducing such policies, thus it is urged to be highly ambitious by various industry groups.
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