National Electric Vehicle Strategy a missed opportunity


Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Today’s release of The National Electric Vehicle Strategy is a major step forward in the Government’s intent to achieve significant emissions abatement from the transport sector.

But it is also a missed opportunity.

Without explicit reference to low and zero emissions modes like e-bikes and light electric vehicles for freight, the Government has failed to acknowledge some of the most affordable and rapidly deployable forms of e-transport that are available now.

With 19% of all emissions coming from the transport sector and 10% coming from private cars, transport is rightly a key focus of our government’s efforts to address climate change.

The strategy should also consider active travel to contribute to the transport emissions reduction task, not just swapping the cars we drive for EVs, the subject of WeRide’s submission with the bicycle sector [1].

With around half of all trips every day in this country just 5km or less, many of these trips can be undertaken by walking and cycling.

We call on the Government to develop a strategic approach to active travel within the framework.

In the latest research conducted on the desire of Australians to ride a bike for transport[2], Monash University showed a stunning 78 per cent of respondents in Greater Melbourne and Victorian regional centres were “interested but concerned,” that is, they would consider cycling for transport under the right conditions.

The public is ready to ride! Active travel can play a part in lowering transport emissions and should be part of the Government’s strategic approach.

Boosting active travel provides accessible and convenient options to walk and ride for many, especially the significant proportion of Australians who are excluded from driving, whether through disability, age or exclusion.

WeRide has commenced discussions with the Minister and the department on a clearer focus on active travel policy and outcomes, with active travel contributing not only carbon abatement, but positive wider benefits in our communities, addressing health, congestion and liveability.

We look forward to working with Ministers Bowen and King to develop the next stage of Australia’s transport transition that places active travel firmly within the framework released today.

[1] A joint WeRide submission with Australian cycling organisations to the NEVS consultation can be viewed here:

[2] Pearson L.K, Beck B, Dipnall J, Gabbe B.J, Braaf S, White S & Backhouse M (2020) Cycling Typologies in Victoria, Monash University