Another step has taken towards an electric-vehicle future in Tasmania, with praise for the state government’s funding for a working group.

The state government announced it would provide $250,000 to support the establishment of a network of electric vehicle charging stations in Tasmania as part of an aim for zero net emissions by 2050.

The move was welcomed by Australian Electric Vehicle Association Tasmanian branch member Ray Johnston.

“I think it’s a very positive thing, I’m not too sure where it will go,” he said.

The working group is designed to consult with stakeholders for future direction.

Mr Johnston was not sure whether the electric vehicle association would be involved but expected the group would discuss it.

“We’ve been so flat out getting the [electric vehicle] conference organised and running – we haven’t met to talk about it,” he said.

While the government’s funding was welcomed, Mr Johnston acknowledged growing the battery-powered vehicle market was largely down to car makers and consumers.

“One of the things that came out of our conference in Devonport, irrespective of government policy, is the recognition we don’t have the vehicle manufacturers wanting to promote their electric car products in Tasmania,” he said.

“Until that’s done, I don’t think too much will happen.”

Mr Johnston said there needed to be infrastructure to support electric vehicles, which would only be installed once people purchased them.

“There are not a lot of incentives for Australians to buy electric vehicles,” he said.

“Mitsubishi in Tasmania is one of the few vehicle suppliers that have put people in place to service the electric vehicles.”

Despite the concern, Mr Johnston believes the market will “suddenly take off” in Tasmania within 10 years.

“One we can get fleet purchases underway – that’s when it will really take off,” he said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business, Roger Jaensch, said the state was well-placed to take advantage of an electric future.

“As part of our Climate Change Action Plan the government is investing $250,000 to establish an electric vehicle working group and begin the strategic rollout of electric vehicle charging stations,” he said.

“​Tasmania is ideally suited to benefit from a growing electric vehicle market.

“Electric vehicles are less expensive to run than petrol or diesel vehicles and, together with increased renewable electricity supply, have the potential to reduce emissions from our transport sector and help to improve our energy security.”

Extracted from The Examiner.