21 June 2021

NSW Government leads the nation on electric vehicles, Volkswagen says

The New South Wales Government’s Electric Vehicle Strategy announced today by the Minister for Energy and Environment, Matthew Kean, is the “model to drive Australia out of the automotive third world”, Volkswagen Group Australia said.

The Group’s managing director, Michael Bartsch, said that Mr Kean’s “logical and progressive initiatives will, as he says, make NSW the ‘easiest place to buy and drive an EV in Australia’”.

“The Berejiklian Government has shown its federal colleagues and its counterpart in Victoria the way to bring about mass ownership of affordable Electric Vehicles,” Mr Bartsch said. “In terms of his targets for private ownership and fleet take up of EVs, there is no faulting Mr Kean’s ambition.”

Volkswagen Group Australia consists of the Volkswagen, Audi, SKODA and CUPRA brands

Mr Bartsch said that while the Volkswagen Group was becoming the world’s biggest seller of affordable EVs and Plug-in Hybrid EVs, significant barriers remained before Australia could emulate European countries, where the demand for zero and low emission vehicles begins to exceed supply.

“While the Victorian Government’s vision of progress is to tax EVs while they are less than one per cent of new vehicles sales, it is the lack of national commitment to a CO2 target that has most impeded the case for EV prioritisation,” Mr Bartsch said.

“Europe’s mandatory carbon targets, enforced by severe penalties, will ensure that those markets continue to the first in line for zero emission vehicles.

“Volkswagen is further disadvantaged by being the only top 10 selling brand in Australia that remains subject to a tariff designed to protect local manufacturing that ceased in 2017. The other mass-market brands benefit from free trade agreements.

“While the federal government has resolved to address Australia’s third world fuel quality, until it and the other state governments emulate the vision of NSW, our country will remain a dumping ground for technology that cannot be sold in advanced countries.”


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