Sydney, Australia, Nov 9 (EFE).- The Australian government on Tuesday announced a fund of AU$178 million ($131 million) to promote the use of electric and hydrogen vehicles as part of a strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government, which before the 2019 elections had opposed electric vehicles saying they would “end the weekend” as they could not tow boats and trailers or replace SUVs, will mainly be aimed at the development of refueling infrastructure across the country, including in homes and in public.
This plan, which is expected to result in more than AU$500 million of combined private and public co-investment, would lead to about 1.7 million non-polluting vehicles on Australian roads by 2030 and create about 2,600 new jobs, according to a press release from the prime minister’s office.
“We will not be forcing Australians out of the car they want to drive or penalizing those who can least afford it through bans or taxes. Instead, the Strategy will work to drive down the cost of low and zero emission vehicles, and enhance consumer choice,” Morrison said.
Australians are highly dependent on private transport, especially in rural areas of the country, which is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases per capita in the world.
Morrison, who in recent years has defended Australia’s powerful coal industry, announced at the beginning of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow his commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050 after receiving strong pressure from both within and outside the country. EFE