Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy spoke in Parliament on the Inquiry into tackling climate change by calling for the Victorian Government to reduce electric car costs and introduce an electric vehicle switch to the commercial business industry.
In Parliament Mr McCurdy said, “Although the Inquiry into Electric Vehicles made no recommendations, it provided a comprehensive overview of the benefits and challenges of the introduction of more electric vehicles into regional Victoria.
“The Ovens Valley and Hume Highway for instance are the biggest freight corridors in the country, which run straight right through Wangaratta and there are some real, great opportunities there on the Melbourne to Sydney freight line.
“In the transport industry this is where the opportunities are missed.”
He continued, “There is a company called Janus Electric, who have developed a swap-and-go type situation with batteries for trucks, meaning they can actually convert trucks.
“If you think about trucks having to pull up and charge for 12 hours, that would not work at all. But at a swap and go it takes 3 minutes to change a battery from a truck with a forklift. They get another battery, and away they go.”
Mr McCurdy said, “We know that with people with electric vehicles—those who purchase electric vehicles—many of them do so with a moral obligation, wanting to do their bit for the climate and do what they can to support in that area, but when you look at trucks and freight it is a whole different matter. There is an absolute commercial imperative and benefit straight away, whereas that it is not always the case with electric vehicles.
“Additionally, a driver takes 20 minutes to fill up his truck with diesel. In terms of a swap-and-go battery, it is about 3 minutes. I just think it really is a no-brainer for benefits to the climate, to the drivers and to a company’s bottom line, and this government needs to look further afield into how we can do this.”
He concluded, “We need to support small businesses and commercial businesses because that is what makes the wheels turn in Victoria.
“It’s time the government took a closer look at opportunities particularly in regional Victoria but certainly on this freight line between Melbourne and Sydney.”