Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen says an increase in EV charging installations across Australia has meant “easier, cheaper holiday weekend driving” for Australians enjoying the Easter break.

The government has released new figures showing that nearly 100 new DC fast-charging sites have been added to the national road network in the first quarter of 2024, meaning the nation has close to 900 DC fast-charging sites across the country.

Mr Bowen said the charging locations supported about 2100 fast and ultra-fast charging plugs, representing a 90 per cent increase in public fast EV charging sites since Christmas 2022.

Australia also has about 3000 regular charging stations with about 7000 individual plugs.

“More and more families in the outer suburbs are reaping the benefits of cheaper-to-run cars – taking pressure off the family budget by avoiding thousands of dollars in fuel bills,” Mr Bowen said. “Our EV discount can make leasing EVs and plug-in hybrids cheaper than leasing petrol vehicles in many circumstances – a big reason why nearly 70 per cent of EVs on the road have been added since the election.”

The government says the EV discount can save up to $11,000 a year on a $50,000 electric vehicle and that, where eligible, it could make a base model Tesla 3 cheaper to lease per month than petrol vehicles like the Mazda 3 Astina.

The push to encourage EV take-up comes after the government last week introduced its New Vehicle Efficiency Standards legislation into parliament. The regime to reduce emissions for new cars commences on January 1, 2025.

Under the changes, car manufacturers must ensure that cars imported to Australia meet an annual emissions cap. The government says this will reduce emissions from new passenger vehicles by more than 60 per cent by 2030, and roughly halve the emissions of new light commercial vehicles in the same period.

The legislation is at risk of being scuttled by the Coalition and Greens over competing concerns it will drive up consumer costs and fail to accelerate electric vehicle take-up. Mr Bowen and Transport Minister Catherine King are seeking to push through legislation by June.

The Albanese government argues that Australian families are spending $5000 a year on petrol and people living in the outer suburbs are now the biggest purchasers of EVs.

Data from the Electric Vehicle Council suggests that Rouse Hill and Kellyville topped Sydney sales in 2023.

Labor says there are now about 198,000 EVs on Australia’s roads and more than two-thirds of those vehicles were added since the 2022 election, but the Department of Infrastructure predicted towards the end of last year that fewer than one-third of new car sales would be battery-operated by 2030.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/government-boosting-ev-chargers/news-story/208f8cab4479215fcf57e7d78b9c086d

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