As the debate surrounding electric vehicles reaches a fever pitch, the CEO of Australia's Electric Vehicle Council has called out the Federal Energy Minister for "truly ludicrous" comments surrounding the technology.
Angus Taylor, Federal Energy Minister, this week claimed Labor is readying a 'housing tax' to fund the installation of charge infrastructure in new housing developments.
"This ‘housing tax’ line is a contender for the silliest scare tactic yet, perhaps even sillier than the Prime Minister predicting 'the end of the weekend'," Behyad Jafari, EV Council CEO, said in a statement.
"Making sure new buildings are future-proofed and able to charge vehicles efficiently is common sense given that everyone - including the Liberal Party - acknowledges that a mass transition to EVs is coming. The costs are minimal at build."
“By contrast doing nothing would be the costly option, because it would ensure that people would be forced to pay more later to upgrade retrospectively," he said.
The Energy Minister said it would cost 'billions' for new developments to install the hardware required for EV charging, quoting government modelling.
This comes as Tony Abbott, ex-Prime Minster and current Liberal backbencher, used a debate in his seat of Warringah to wade into the electric vehicle debate.
"Do we want experts to tell us what kind of cars to drive?" he asked in his debate with Zali Steggall, an independent challenger for his seat.
He argued the Labor policy would mean "no Taragos, no SUVs, no utes" in Australia, and said "we should create our own car industry".
"If, plainly, there is something we do need, and the world can't provide us, we should create it for ourselves," he told the Queenscliff Surf Club.
Abbott, who oversaw the Australian car industry's shutdown, offered no concrete plan for how we'd go about building our own cars again.
Despite plenty of Coalition rhetoric to the counter, a number of carmakers are working on pure-electric utes, SUVS and vehicles with seven seats.
Nissan quotes figures suggesting price parity could come between electric and petrol-powered vehicles as soon as 2024.