Minister gets a buzz from electric cars

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has pledged funds to encourage demand for electric cars. (AAP)

Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has launched the national Electric Vehicle Council and pledged funds to encourage demand for electric cars.

Gesturing to one of the slick, new Mitsubishi electric cars behind him, Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydneberg has had a Back to the Future moment.

On the front lawns of Parliament House to launch the new national Electric Vehicle Council on Monday, Mr Frydneberg said he was reminded of Michael J. Fox in the hit 80s sci-fi movie series.

"Well, I think when it comes to electric vehicles it's forward to the future," he said.

"If we are able to take this initiative forward through the ministerial forum it's expected that we could see upwards of 15 per cent of new car sales in 2030 being electric vehicle car sales," he said.

The industry-led council will represent and co-ordinate the broader electric vehicle industry in Australia.

The minister also announced a $390,000 grant to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia.

"There is great momentum towards electric vehicles internationally," Mr Frydenberg said.

More than 750 000 electric vehicles were sold globally last year.

With more than 300, 000 electric vehicle plug-in stations around the world, $50 billion has been invested in the industry over the past 10 years with a 55 per cent increase in the number of electric vehicles sold over the past 12 months.

However Mr Frydenberg conceded Australia could be doing better.

In Australia, electric vehicles account for only 0.1 per cent of all new domestic vehicle sales with less than 5000 believed to be on the road.

Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, the CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Australia, said demand for electric vehicles in Australia was developing slowly.

"However we expect demand for electric vehicles to increase over the coming years as consumers and businesses proactively take steps to reduce the impact of the automobile on our environment," Mr Oshikiri said.

The CEO of AGL Energy, Andy Vesey said his company was leading the way in encouraging demand for electric vehicles across the country.

AGL Energy will purchase 36 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Electric Vehicles to meet their goal of 10 per cent of their fleet consisting of electric vehicles by mid-2018.

"It's a very lonely place to be, so I challenge all commercial fleet managers and owners to match that commitment and government to match that commitment and use its buying power to start to build demand," he said.

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