The state government of New South Wales is budgeting half a billion dollars to normalise battery electric vehicles (BEVs). As well as generous incentives for the public and businesses to purchase BEVs, they are now planning “driving experience days.” This is similar to an approach taken by the government of the UK.
These days will take place across the state in metropolitan and regional centres over the next 12 months, and aim specifically to encourage test drives. As we know, getting bums on seats is key to influencing people’s attitudes to electric vehicles. This is in direct contrast to the prime minister’s position, that EV’s will ruin your weekend and destroy the livelihood of the tradie.
The NSW government (incidentally, the same conservative political party as the federal government — how’s that for cognitive dissonance?) plans to transition its entire fleet to electric by 2030. It is worth mentioning that the state energy minister drives a Tesla Model 3.
One issue may be that there are not that many models of BEVs available in Australia at the moment. Hopefully more will become available as this program takes shape, especially at the affordable end of the range. We have the Tesla Models S, X, and 3, soon to be joined by the Y; the Jaguar I-PACE; the Hyundai Kona and Ioniq; the Nissan Leaf; the MINI; the Kia e-Niro; and the Mercedes EQS and EQA. And, of course, BYD waiting in the wings.
The government tender is seeking partners to implement the program. The Australian Electric Vehicles Association has been active in this area and would make an ideal partner. They have been offering similar driving experience days for the past 10 years.
The number of electric cars sold in Australia has doubled in the last 12 months. With this level of support, it may double again.
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