Newly elected Independent for Kooyong Dr Monique Ryan says the challenge for the government is to bring down the price of electric vehicles, so the general population has access to them.

Kooyong MP Monique Ryan is calling on the new government to “facilitate” making electric vehicles more accessible to Australians.

Speaking to Sky News Australia from the Victorian State Energy Summit, Dr Ryan said attendees want action on expanding access to renewables and electric vehicles.

“The consensus among the attendees at this summit is that we do need to take action in a more adroit and more intuitive way into expanding our access to renewables, but also expanding access of the general population to electric vehicles,” Dr Ryan told Kieran Gilbert on Wednesday afternoon.

“We know that new electric vehicles have massive batteries which will increase our storage capacity quite significantly.

“Essentially, what we’ll all be doing when we buy one of these is buying a fantastically big battery with a free car thrown in.

“We all want to be able to access those, we want to be able to buy and afford them, and that’s the challenge for the government, I think, to facilitate that process.”

Asked about the lack of storage and transmission in the system to get renewables into the energy grid, Dr Ryan said it’s “frustrating” – pointing to the previous government’s record.

“Essentially what we’re seeing is the failure of nine years of government policy,” Dr Ryan said.

“We should have all of those facilities – the increased storage capacity and the increased transmission capacity – within our grid in place now.

“The fact that we don’t really does fall at the feet of the previous government and now we’re all in a situation where we have anxiety about the capacity of our energy system to provide us with the electricity that we need.

“We need to take action on that quickly.”

However Dr Ryan conceded in the short-term coal and gas is required.

“We need to actively and quickly move to increasing the capacity to benefit from the much cheaper electricity that we will get from renewables,” she said.

“I’m not saying we should throw out the baby with the bathwater – that wouldn’t be something that would make any of us safe or secure.”

It comes as the east coast energy market suspension will be lifted with authorities confident in the return of wholesale electricity supply after a shortage one week ago.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) was forced to suspend the spot market for the first time since its creation in 1998 along the east coast on Wednesday with fears suburbs within four states and a territory would be plunged into blackouts.

The company it was “impossible to operate” due to the shortfall in supply being blamed on a number of reasons including generators being offline, an increase in usage due to winter and international pressures such as the war in Ukraine.

AEMO Chief Executive Daniel Westerman said the energy market would begin to set the price from 4am on Thursday where authorities will monitor it for 24 hours before a decision on the lift to the market, provided there is supply guarantee.

Extracted in full from: Climate 200-backed independent Dr Monique Ryan calls on government to expand access of electric vehicles to more Aussies | Sky News Australia

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