Plans have been made by new company A2emCo to manufacture autonomous electric vehicles in Australia. The prototype has already been designed and CEO Michael Molitor expects the cars to be on the road by Q1 2020.
An Australian battery gigafactory is also a possibility. Former head of operations at Tesla, Peter Carlsson, believes that 120-150 gigafactories will be required between 2020 and 2030. Molitor concludes, “So there’s going to be a gigafactory in Australia; there are going to be gigafactories in Australia… And we’re looking at whether we do that, or we help somebody do that. That has to happen and it will happen,” he said. “We want to create an entire AEV ecosystem in Australia, with Australian suppliers.”
Electric cars benefit people and the environment in many ways. For instance, they don’t have an exhaust pipe, and therefore no carbon dioxide or particulate matter is released into the air, which can cause respiratory issues and contributes to global warming. While many electric cars are currently powered by coal-generated electricity, government support of renewable energy means that, in Canberra at least, they will be environmentally sustainable by 2020.
However, electric car sales in Australia represent only 0.1% of new vehicle sales, lagging behind similar markets. Due to strong government support for electric vehicles in Norway, 50% of new cars sold in Oslo in January were electric or hybrid models. Benefits include free parking and no road tolls for electric cars.
The main hurdle to buying an electric car in Australia is the purchase price, but as pricing becomes more competitive, sales are expected to rise to 15% by 2030, or around 1 million electric vehicles. Coordinated policy and infrastructure will be required to keep up with the rest of the world. The Electric Vehicle Council is pushing for incentives to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, such as taxation measures and public charging stations.
The time required to charge has also been an issue, with cars taking between four and six hours to fully charge. Despite this, charging technology is rapidly changing. Veefil charging stations from Brisbane company Tritium can fully charge an electric car in just 20 to 30 minutes and there are plans for stations that can charge in less than a minute. Tritium invests heavily in R&D and they now offer the most advanced EV battery charging technology in the world. Having opened offices in the US and Europe, they are considering doubling the team over the next year or two.
Tritium exemplifies the fact that Australian companies undertaking R&D are considerably more likely to see higher growth, sales and productivity than those of a similar size who do not. Swanson Reed R&D Tax Consultants make claiming R&D tax credits easier. Before you waste time on the application, our experts will check your eligibility and can also claim on your behalf, maximising your refund and increasing the chance of a successful submission.