Tesla boss Elon Musk has weighed into Australia’s EV debate. Picture: AFP.
Tesla boss Elon Musk has weighed into Australia’s EV debate. Picture: AFP.

Tesla’s Musk weighs into Aussie EV debate

TESLA boss Elon Musk has weighed into Australia's electric car debate.

Electric cars have become a hot topic in Australia following Labor's pre-election announcement that it will aim for half of Australia's new cars to be electric by 2030.

The aim was called into question by Coalition members sceptical of overambitious charging times, whether tradies would be willing to give up their utes, and whether electrical infrastructure is robust enough to handle 500,000 new electric vehicles hitting the road each year.

Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes told News.com.au he is "incredibly frustrated" by a change in tune from the Federal Government which "will be on the wrong side of history".

Mr Cannon-Brookes tweeted that "I'm pretty sure Elon wouldn't think 50 per cent of new vehicles sold being electric in 11 years is in any way 'ambitious'."

The outspoken Tesla founder left his 25.6 million Twitter follows with little doubt.

"Norway has already proven it could be done last month," Musk said.

"No question Australia could do this in far fewer than 11 years."

Electric vehicle sales have overtaken conventionally powered cars in Norway, where battery-powered machines are exempt from a 25 per cent sales tax and registration fees, among other incentives.

Though electric vehicles represent less than 1 per cent of new car sales in Australia, a flood of new models could turn the tide.

Hyundai introduced relatively affordable electric versions of its Ioniq small car and Kona SUV in Australia this year, joining the likes of Tesla's luxury Model S sedan and Model X SUV. Jaguar's I-Pace electric SUV will be joined by Audi's e-tron and the Mercedes-Benz EQC this year.

Nissan's $49,990 Leaf electric hatch hits showrooms in August, and it will be followed by a sub-$100,000 Tesla Model 3, battery-powered Mini Cooper, Porsche's hotly-anticipated Taycan, BMW's iX3, Volvo's Polestar 2 sedan and Volkswagen's ID hatch in the next 12 months or so.


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