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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, has joined Good Car Company founder Anthony Broese van Groenou to discuss Tasmania’s rising fuel prices and the role electric vehicles (EVs) can play to reduce the impact on Tasmanians.

“With fuel prices above the $2 mark, it’s now way beyond time to see a shift towards EVs,” Mr Wilkie said. “Only by doing so can we break free of the uncertainties of global oil supplies, and make real progress on cleaning up the environment and achieving net zero carbon emissions.

“The State Government must actively encourage the uptake of EVs through subsidised registration and other incentives, convert its own fleet of vehicles to EVs and actively encourage a local EV manufacturing capability. It must also work with the Federal Government on improved rules around the import of new and second-hand EVs.”

Mr Broese van Groenou, who is part of the State Government’s Electric Vehicle Working Group, said the easiest way to maximise EV uptake was through the import of new and used vehicles.

“Imports allow for a greater range of quality used EVs that are otherwise unavailable in Australia. These vehicles comply with Australia’s safety and environmental standards, and such choice would ensure competition and the best possible pricing of EVs,” he said. “However, there are unnecessary barriers and administrative burdens.

“While it usually takes two and a half to six weeks for the federal department to issue a compliance plate for an EV, many cars have been stuck in limbo for months. These delays have meant that Australians seeking to import their own vehicles have incurred significant holding costs including at their point of origin and ports of arrival in Australia.

“The issue of limited supply also needs to be addressed. Amendment to the Road Vehicle Standards Rules to allow all EVs to be considered eligible for independent importation would help accelerate EV uptake. This change would result in thousands of EVs entering the Australian market per annum at far more affordable prices than the new EVs currently available.

“Lastly, first-time registration should be considered by the states when implementing subsidies and incentives, along with means tested interest-free loans for EVs.”