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Electric cars can help spark post-Covid clean energy economy

By: Bridie Schmidt

Electric vehicles should play a key role in kickstarting a post-Covid economy, and investment in industries around clean transport will build a stronger, more resilient, and ultimately sustainable Australia for the long term.

This was the message from Tim Washington, CEO of electric car charging solutions provider Jetcharge on Wednesday’s Stimulus Summit co-hosted by the Smart Energy Council and The Driven’s parent company RenewEconomy.

Washington outlined three key points that investment in an electric vehicle (EV) industry in Australia should underpin: a focus on new industries that also create jobs, the value of long-term contribution to the economy by those industries, and the co-benefits of those industries such as encouraging domestic tourism to bushfire-affected areas.

“The EV industry in Australia is going to be a vital part of the renewables story,” said Washington. “We need to focus more on long term industries and the development of those industries.”

“Let’s focus on why we’re providing stimulus to certain areas. What I’d really love to see a focus on building a new industry that creates its own feedback loop that creates long term prospects and long term job,” he said.

“The reason we say industries are better (than just jobs) is that it doesn’t require ongoing attention from the government, and ongoing support to keep those jobs propped up.

“If we create an ecosystem that allows high EV growth adoption, which is not possible under current legislative environment… you’ll contribute substantially to GDP and create a lot of direct jobs,” Washington said.

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