Australia

Electric cars boost economy and health

An inquiry led by independent senator Tim Storer has heard from miners and the health sector about the benefits of electric cars.

The mining sector and the health of Australians stand to benefit from more electric vehicles on the market, a Senate committee has heard.

Doctors for the Environment Australia, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies and the Pilbara Metals Group have given evidence to the committee looking at electric vehicles.

In a report produced by the AMEC, it was estimated that the lithium value chain - which includes raw materials through to cells and battery packs - could increase from $165 billion to $2 trillion by 2025 if more electric vehicles are introduced into the country.

As Australia is the world's largest supplier of lithium, mining professionals are keen to make the most out of this opportunity.

"PMG has seen an opportunity to utilise the growth of a new industry in Australia and made the decision to take significant action to become part of the supply and value chain for the EV market," a spokesperson for the Pilbara Metals Group said.

"Australia has a unique opportunity to become a strong force in the EV space. We have a chance to be able to make high quality, low cost materials for batteries specific to electric vehicles."

According to Doctors for the Environment Australia, poor air quality causes 3000 deaths a year, half of which are a result of vehicle emissions.

Professionals say electric vehicles will have an immediate and positive effect on health, by reducing air pollution.

Chief executive of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari, says Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to electric vehicles.

"The lack of national policy to support and coordinate the transition to electric vehicles in Australia has resulted in market uncertainty, preventing greater industry investment," he said.

"This is despite significant industry and consumer interest in electric vehicles."

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