“Australia has the minerals — not just lithium — and also the know-how and many of the skills to capture the opportunity of this new energy era,” she said.
Tesla and other carmakers have this year raised sticker prices, along with battery producers like Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd, in response to higher costs of raw materials, driven at least in part by demand that’s rising faster than production capacity. In lithium, almost $14bn (roughly R239.5bn) is needed to develop planned production capacity by 2025, according to BloombergNEF.
Australia’s government should also seek to introduce fuel-efficiency standards to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, Denholm said. EVs accounted for 2.4% of new passenger vehicle sales in Australia last year, compared to 4.5% in the US and 20% in Europe, BNEF said in a May report.
“They must be strong standards,” Denholm said. “It's no surprise that the cars on our roads are among the most polluting in the world. Australia currently accepts vehicles that the rest of the world doesn't — they're either too dirty or expensive to run.”
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