Australia has the opportunity to become a sustainable global manufacturer of electric vehicles (EV), but only if the Federal Government acts quickly.

A new report, Rebuilding Vehicle Manufacturing in Australia: Industrial Opportunities in an Electrified Future, by the Australia Institute’s Carmichael Centre, has found Australia has many advantages to attract and retain EV manufacturing.

Dr. Mark Dean, the report’s lead author, said Australia has advantages other nations would die for.

“Rich reserves of lithium and rare earths, strong industrial infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce, powerful training capacity, abundant renewable energy options, and untapped consumer potential.”

Dean said that this research and these advantages will count for little without significant government support.

“No nation builds a major industry without its government taking a proactive role. Our new research shows there’s no excuse for inaction, because there are a huge range of powerful levers our government could be pulling.”

The report suggested a range of recommendations including establishing an EV Manufacturing Industry Commission, using tax incenetives to encourage firms involved in the extraction of key minerals, a long-term strategy for vocational training, offer major global manufacturers incentives to set-up, and introduce local procurement laws for the rapid electrification of government vehicle fleets.

“If we capture the moment we’ll capture abundant benefits: creating tens of thousands of regional manufacturing jobs, reducing our dependence on raw resource extraction, reinforcing our accelerating transition toward non-polluting energy sources, and spurring innovation, research, and engineering activity in Australia. We just need our government to act.”

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