The galloping stupidity of the Liberal Party has been highlighted by the ludicrous response to the Labor Party’s plan to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles. Let’s go back to the start, some time before the Labor Party suggested it had such a plan. In January, 2018, Josh Frydenberg listed a few technological advances which have appeared in the last few years and stated that “there is another area of exciting technological disruption with real economic and environmental benefits that is yet to really take off here at home”. And that was electric vehicles. He added: “Capitalising on a declining cost curve, new investments in recharging infrastructure and significant improvements in battery capacity, the industry has now real momentum in Europe, Asia and North America, which will inevitably be replicated here.”1
In October last year, Energy Minister Angus Taylor spruiked the benefits of an ultra-rapid charging network along the major driving routes from Brisbane to Adelaide and around Sydney and Melbourne and in Western Australia. The government was kicking the tin to tune of $6 million to Chargefox Pty Ltd to develop 21 ultra-rapid charging stations powered by (I kid you not) renewable energy. This network is expected to have no more than 200 kilometres between stations, and the charging stations will provide a top-up charge adding another 400 kilometres range within 15 minutes2.
Then Labor went and buggered it all up for the Liberal Party by setting a national electric vehicles target of 50% new car sales by 2030, and 50% for the government fleet by 2025, as well as allowing business to deduct a 20% depreciation for private fleet electric vehicles valued at more than $20,0003. How dare they! Of course, the fact that the Labor Party had an electric vehicle plan meant that the Liberal Party had to oppose and denigrate it despite it being similar to their own policy, and despite the government promoting its efforts in helping fund the charging network. Indeed, its own forecast that electric vehicles will make up between 25% and 50% of new car sales by 2030, is not very different from the Labor target4. So, why did the Liberals start foaming at the mouth? It is a knee-jerk reaction which is now characteristic of the Liberal Party whenever the Labor Party says almost anything.
Ever since Tony Abbott became Opposition leader in 2009, the Liberal Party opposed and did little else, seemingly believing that the term ‘opposition’ was prescriptive and not simply a matter of terminology. This has continued into the realm of electric vehicles. So what have they said? Morrison has likened electric car charging times to toy cars which take several hours to charge4. Angus Taylor could have told him he was wrong. Even Angus Taylor tweeted a lame meme showing an electric vehicle being charged from a petrol generator in the back of a truck, with the caption ‘Camping with Bill Shorten’. Taylor also posted a video from the television car show Top Gear, about the limitations of battery life and driving range of electric vehicles. That Top Gear video was shown several years ago as having been faked5. Morrison said that the Labor Party wants to “end the weekend”, and wants to say “see you later to the SUV”6, seemingly unaware that there are several electric SUVs in the market. He also said that it would prevent Australians buying vehicles “with a bit of grunt”. Again he is apparently unaware of the fact that a souped up Tesla SUV beat a $US530,000 Lamborghini Aventador SV, one of the fastest sports cars on the planet, in a standard drag race quarter mile7. That is a fair bit of grunt. Morrison also said that Labor maintained that “50% of the cars that we all are driving around in 10 years from now will be electric cars.”. That is not what Labor said. They said 50% of new cars would be electric; i.e. 50% of those cars bought in the year 2030 will be electric6. That is a big difference, and Morrison knows it. He has never been one to let the facts stand in the way of his endless, rambling drivel. Morrison has also said that Shorten is trying to tell Australians what to drive. This is just like the Coalition has; they destroyed Australian car manufacturing, so now we will only be able to drive imported cars.
The main problem with the Liberal Party is that they have not quite come to grips with the modern world, especially in regard to the internet. They do not realise that the internet never forgets, and using the right keywords, one can find anything and everything that these muppets have said on any topic. When they do a u-turn, or tell a porkie, it is there for all to see, and no amount of Trumpian denial will erase it.