Transport security administration (TSA) head Pat McBride has told a Senate committee he was concerned about the impact on national security of electric vehicles and said it was an area he was not yet prepared to comment on.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMA) has been reviewing the regulations that govern electric vehicles.
The regulator says there is a risk of an unauthorised foreign person or entity accessing electric vehicles for a terrorist purpose, which could lead to a terrorist incident.
“We need to look at the risks posed by foreign terrorists operating electric vehicles,” said Mr McBride.
“The potential for an unlicensed foreign person to access an electric vehicle is significant.”
He said there were already measures in place to ensure foreign persons and companies did not access electric vehicles without the approval of the government.
“There is no particular legislation that we would have to make, but we need to work with the industry to understand what the potential risks are,” he said.
“It is also worth noting that in many countries where electric vehicles are being offered as a solution to address the environmental degradation caused by cars, the government has the power to ban them from operating.”
So, in some instances where an individual is operating an electric car, that individual is not necessarily going to be able to use it if they have been banned from the country.
“The Department’s regulatory review comes ahead of a key public consultation that will discuss whether to ban foreign electric vehicles from driving in Australia.
The department has also said it will consider whether to introduce a “permissive licence” for electric vehicles that could allow foreign drivers to drive them in NSW and Victoria.
Mr McBride told the Senate Environment and Energy committee on Wednesday he was “not prepared to speculate” about whether the department’s current regulations could be revised.”
I don’t think that’s something we’ve got in the policy yet,” he told the committee.”
But it’s something that we are taking a look at as we move forward.
“Topics:electrics-technology,government-and-politics,environment,susan-terrier,nsw,brisbane-4000,qld,australiaMore stories from Queensland