A British billionaire industrialist is bidding to build electric cars in Australia, perhaps reviving the nation’s car industry in the process.
Sanjeev Gupta looks set to bid for industrial assets at the former Holden manufacturing site in South Australia in a global auction.
According to Reuters, SA treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has discussed with Mr Gupta the possibility of an electric car plant on the original General Motors site.
Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg also told ABC Radio this week that Australia is undergoing a transport revolution with the government’s backing. He told RN Breakfast host Fran Kelly that the transition to electric vehicles is to transport what the iPhone was to communications.
The Energy Minister says he also spoke with Mr Gupta and that the government would support the entrepreneur should he decide to invest in electric vehicles in South Australia.
Build electric cars in Australia: Controversial plans?
The Turnbull Government predicts up to 230,000 electric vehicles in Australia by 2025, rising to one million by 2030.
Yet significant resistance has been voiced by Mr Frydenberg’s Coalition colleagues to further investment in the EV industry, Fran Kelly noted.
Despite this, the government would continue to talk to the Electric Vehicle Council and support the emerging industry where possible, Mr Frydenberg said.
However, issues regarding nationwide EV infrastructure need addressing to ensure fuel availability and reliability on long road trips.
Important link between EVs and solar power
A 2017 report found that up to 40 per cent of electric vehicle owners have their own solar energy systems.
The Clean Technica survey of 2,000 EV drivers spanning 28 countries revealed that 28-40 per cent of respondents have home solar power.
This allows them to charge their vehicles directly during the day, or overnight using solar battery storage.
Meanwhile, Mr Gupta has also announced plans to power his Australian steel manufacturing plant with solar panels.
He recently acquired the struggling Whyalla plant owned by Australian steel maker Arrium. Mr Gupta wants to power the plant using a large-scale solar and commercial energy storage complex.