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The Federal Government has pledged to develop a national electric vehicle (EV) and emissions strategy to bring Australia up to speed with the rest of the world.

Speaking at the inaugural National Electric Vehicles Summit held last week in Canberra, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen announced plans for a discussion paper this September focusing on emissions and boost EV supplies.

“Growing Australia’s electric vehicle market and improving fuel efficiency standards will be the focus of a national strategy to be developed with state and territory leaders,” Mr Bowen said at the Summit.

He also recognised that Australia is lagging in terms of uptake of alternative-fuel vehicles due to high prices, limited range of models and stock available, and long waitlists among other issues.

“Uptake of new low-emissions vehicles sits at just two percent, nearly five times lower than the global average,” Mr Bowen said.

“There are many consumers who would be interested in buying an EV but even if they could access the limited stock available, price sends them to petrol or diesel models”.

“Policy settings are denying Australians real choice of good, affordable, no emissions cars.”

In a statement, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said that the government is “committed to ensuring an Australian vehicle market provides consumers with easier access to affordable and popular cars, including EVs that are better for the back pocket and the environment.”

“We want to hear your views on how best to design fuel efficiency standards in Australia to meet industry and consumer needs now and for generations to come, so I encourage people to have their say,” Ms King added.

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