In a departure from some recent commentary where manufacturers have claimed governments around the world need to fund, encourage, subsidise or even enforce electric vehicle infrastructure on consumers, Polestar chief operating officer Jonathan Goodman says the electric vehicle rollout shouldn't be dependent on any of that.
Electric cars have been the hot topic in Australia of late – thanks largely to the (mostly incorrect) political debate from both sides of politics that has been taking place.
But one manufacturer is of the opinion politics shouldn't really have a role in the phasing-in of the technology of the future.
In a departure from some recent commentary where manufacturers have claimed governments around the world need to fund, encourage, subsidise or even enforce electric vehicle infrastructure on consumers, Polestar chief operating officer Jonathan Goodman says the electric vehicle rollout shouldn't depend on any of that.
"I don't think it should be dependent on government support or incentives, no," Goodman told Australian media at Polestar headquarters outside Gothenburg, Sweden.
"Electric vehicles are coming to Australia, and I don't think they should be dependent upon incentives. Incentives can go, and then the business case doesn't stack up anymore."
Goodman's thinking is if you subsidise charging, for example, you might attract new buyers, but if that charging is no longer free, because it's becoming too expensive to fund, then the incentive is gone, the cost of ownership goes up, and the consumer is the one left out of pocket, instead of knowing the cost upfront.
"It needs to be a business and a business case that works, and we need to enable the retailer to make money as well as head office making money," Goodman explained. "Infrastructure is a key point though, and people need to be able to charge their cars, obviously."
The most interesting element of the transition to electric cars in Australia though will be whether we can look to a cleaner, more efficient and more environmentally friendly way to generate our power.
At this point in time, an electric vehicle doesn't make much sense if you're still burning coal to generate the power to charge it. Goodman sees the electric car as an opportunity to start that process though, regardless of how the power is generated in any given market.
"Australia is similar to China in that sense, with non-renewable energy," Goodman said in relation to how our power is generated.
"But, if you build the mass of electric vehicles, that takes care of the tailpipe emissions, then you put pressure on the energy companies to generate cleaner energy, and at that point, you've taken care of both sides of the equation."