Last night C4C held a forum on how electric vehicles are shaping the future, a discussion on sustainable mobility and smart cities. The passion regarding electric vehicles was “electric”.  From the Hon Phillip Ruddock, The Minister, Hon Melinda Pavey, the panel and the audience, I had rarely seen a group so passionate about a topic.

A key theme through the night was around the need for an ongoing partnership between the government and industry. As the Minster stated, Governments don’t write rules well and needs industry to identify regulatory frameworks.

Intangible economic benefits were highlighted that I hadn’t thought of, including addressing the short fuel reserves, reduced emissions in city areas and general improvement of community health.

The issue of EV in country areas needs to be further discussed, it is a barrier to the role out and while industry says it has the solutions, the community isn’t convinced. We also need to work out how our industries can grow from the introduction of EV. Too often we introduce technologies and pass the profits straight off shore.

The driver experience needs to be similar to the current fossil fuel experience.Relatively short recharging, in desirable locations is essential. The development of fast charge technologies promoted at providing charging at 35km per minute should meet these needs. We though need to learn from other roll outs and place recharging stations in safe, easily accessible locations like current service stations.

We need to be thinking about the future now, any roll out infrastructure will last 15-20 years and hence needs to be done right the first time.

We need to expand the conversations beyond industry and government, it is a commitment that needs the community on board and that will take ongoing engagement.

And for those who say why change? Well we have too, all other major economies are going that way and hence new fuel powered cars will not be available in a few years.

Last night we were hosted at NSW Parliament by the Hon Melinda Pavey MP, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight.  With a panel of experts including Tim Trumper, Chair NRMA, Behyad Jafari, CEO Electric Vehicle Council, Paul Fox, CEO Fast Cities and Tim Washington Founder JET Charge.

We are looking to conduct a second forum on Electric Vehicles in the coming months and happy to talk with those who would like to be a part of that conversation.

The Coalition for Conservation is a centre right organisation aimed at encouraging conversations about conservation and the environment. We are currently rebranding our website, but please follow our Facebook page. 

Cristina Talacko is the Chair of the Coalition for Conservation and Director of Marketing and Product Development at Saldoce Fine Foods. David Nixon is a Director of the Coalition for Conservation and Managing Director, NixonClarity – Advisory, Strategy & Performance.