The boss of Nissan Australia, a pioneer in the local electric vehicle scene with its Leaf hatch, has lashed out at the government by describing its industry dealings as “amateur hour”.
The Nissan Leaf remains Australia’s best selling electric vehicle on volume and, while it ended up costing the local operation money in the long run, it helped establish Nissan Australia as a progressive company hunting for a greener future.
Speaking exclusively with CarAdvice at the recent launch of its updated Navara SII and Pathfinder models, Nissan Australia boss Richard Emery was steadfast on his opinion of bureaucracy involved in dealing with the government.
“My attitude is the government, not just politicians, but government bureaucracy doesn’t understand our industry or the complexity of opportunity for them to influence how people buy cars, the age of our car parc, the efficiency of our car parc – they take a very shallow view,” Emery said.
“Ours is a complex business, with huge corporations globally, that works with governments around the world. It’s somewhat amateur hour when our industry deals with the government on industry matters.”
Emery is of course referring to he lack of local infrastructure or government support for local charging and electric vehicle infrastructure.
Across the ditch, New Zealand continues the roll out of high voltage DC fast-charging infrastructure, with an aim to have 105 sites in action by 2018, to support its growing base of electric vehicles, while Australia remains well behind the times.
“I’d like to have a far more sophisticated conversation with the politicians and bureaucracy about what’s possible. There’s now talk around CO2 limits and CO2 targets for new cars and that’s great. That’s a good thing to do, and many countries are doing it and can react to that – as long as we are given the right amount of time to do so,” said Emery.
Emery went further by suggesting now is the right time to potentially implement a vehicle age limit or incentives to reduce the number of old cars on the road, similar to the Japanese method.
“I’d challenge and say maybe if we lowered the age of our car park and got old cars off the road… Japan has tax benefits to get rid of old cars. For example, if everyone was driving an average of six-year-old cars instead of nine, our CO2 performance would come down overnight,” said Emery.
“If we targeted 10 per cent of sales being hybrid of electric cars each year, that would do as much as everything else. My quick answer is no, they’re not doing enough to support what we can do about reducing CO2.”