Skip to main content

Contact an investment specialist Let's talk business

Australia’s transport industry is transforming. We’re embracing connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVS), advanced air mobility (AAM) and cleaner, greener forms of transport.

The Australian government has set ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets. It creates opportunities for investors to help decarbonise our transport network, particularly public transport and heavy vehicles, and develop infrastructure for hydrogen and electric vehicles.

Thinking about entering the Australian market?

  • Investors typically establish a new company, register as a foreign company or acquire an existing company. Assess your options with our Investor Guide.
  • Austrade is Australia’s national investment promotion agency. We attract and facilitate game-changing foreign direct investment into Australia. Our team of business and investment specialists can connect investors to early-stage opportunities in Australia and provide direct and tailored professional assistance. Find out how we can help.

We offer investors:

  • Efficient regulatory environment that supports adoption of new technologies.
  • World-class R&D capabilities in related disciplines including robotics and autonomous systems and predictive modelling. A commitment to transport data sharing.
  • A supportive policy environment, with competitive incentives.
  • Future-ready communications infrastructure, including 5G networks, satellite positioning upgrades, dedicated bandwidth and significant NBN upgrades.
  • Abundant natural resources to support onshore manufacturing including batteries.
growth in EV sales

EV purchases in Australia were up 269% in the first half of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022

Driving towards a cleaner future

Australia is blessed with abundant natural resources such as solar, wind, and hydropower, along with critical minerals. These can be harnessed to produce renewable energy to power the transport industry.

The Australian government actively supports new technologies being adopted. In April 2023, we released our first National Electric Vehicle Strategy.

The strategy aims to:

  • increase EV supply. This includes developing a Fuel Efficiency Standard for new light vehicles.
  • establish infrastructure and systems to enable rapid EV uptake including national charging network.
  • encourage increase in EV demand through incentives and loans.

The Driving the Nation Fund provides A$500 million funding to assist the nation’s transition to EVs and hydrogen power:

  • A$39.3 million to help deliver EV chargers on key highway routes across Australia.
  • Up to A$80 million to help decarbonise heavy transport. The Hydrogen Highways initiative will help industry fleets acquire heavy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and roll out hydrogen refuelling networks on key freight routes.
  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will co-fund A$130 million for initiatives promoting EV uptake and improving access to EV charging infrastructure.

Fast facts

  • Australia’s transport sector is the country’s third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (Source: Australian Government 2023).

    • It made up 19% of Australia’s carbon emissions in 2022 (Source: Australian Government 2023).
    • The government has legislated emission reduction targets of 43 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050, demonstrating our commitment to decarbonising industry including transport.
  • EV sales are growing rapidly. In the first half of 2023, 46,624 EVs were sold – a 269% increase on the same period in 2022. There are an estimated 130,000 EVs on Australian roads (Source: Electric Vehicle Council. 2023 State of EVs report).
  • EVs represented 8.4% of all new cars sold in Australia in 2023 (Source: Electric Vehicle Council. 2023 State of EVs report).
  • The number of high-power charging locations in Australia increased 57% from June 2022 to June 2023 (Source: Electric Vehicle Council. 2023 State of EVs report).
  • Overall, there are roughly 5,000 public EV charging sites in Australia (Source: Electric Vehicle Council 2022). The number has roughly doubled over the past three years.

Incentives, grants, and support

Many funding bodies and incentives are active in the future transport sector:

  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is a government agency that provides financial support for renewable energy and sustainable transport projects. It has provided funding for projects related to sustainable transport innovation, including electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.
  • The Australian Government has earmarked transport as a priority sector for investment through the A$15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) financing vehicle. It will provide a range of financing options including loans, equity investment and guarantees.
  • Australia’s A$500million Driving the Nation Fund aims to decarbonise the transport industry and support the roll out of charging infrastructure.
  • The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is a government agency that provides funding for clean energy projects, including those in the transport sector.
  • Tax and financial incentives from Australian, state and territory governments encourage the purchase of electric vehicles. This support helps give investors certainty of future demand. This includes the Australian Government’s Electric Car Discount.
  • The Research and Development Tax Incentive encourages investment in research and development to help companies innovate and grow by offsetting some of the costs of eligible research and development.

Australia boasts an efficient regulatory environment to support the adoption of new technologies:

Transforming transportation

Australia boasts world-class research and development capabilities. This includes expertise in quantum computing, connected automated vehicles (CAVs), mobility as a service (MaaS) and AI predictive modelling for road and rail networks.

Our innovation ecosystem fosters dynamic links between universities, industry, and research institutions. It's no surprise that we're accelerating towards a sustainable, low-carbon transport future.

  • The iMove Cooperative Research Centre is a national centre for transport and mobility R&D. It boasts 27 industry, government, and research partners and 17 university partners. It runs trials in a number of transport capabilities.
  • Australia’s national science agency CSIRO are actively involved in research and development in the sustainable transport sector, including projects related to electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells.
  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provides funding and support for R&D projects that accelerate the commercialisation of renewable energy and sustainable transport technologies. For example, ARENA is providing A$20.1m funding to support delivery company Team Global Express’s trial of heavy vehicle electrification in Sydney.
  • Several research universities are actively involved in sustainable transport research, including Australian National University and University of Technology Sydney. They have research groups working on projects related to electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, smart transport systems and biofuels.
  • ITS Australia a not-for-profit organization working towards advanced transport technology. It works on behalf of organisations to promote the development and deployment of technologies that enable a safe, efficient, and more sustainable transport network.
  • The Centre for Connected and Automated Transport (CCAT) is a hub that fosters collaboration among government, industry, research, and community groups working to advance Australia's connected and automated transport initiatives. Its mission is to ensure a safe and successful transition towards innovative transport solutions.

Success stories

Australia is home to many exciting startups and established companies that lead the way in sustainable transport innovation, often in partnership with universities and other research centres.

  • US-based Wisk will bring its sixth-generation self-flying, electric air taxi to Australia. ahead of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane. Wisk is an advanced air mobility (AAM) company backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. The company is working with local government in South East Queensland to introduce a safe, sustainable and scalable autonomous air taxi service.
  • Tesla, the US electric vehicle manufacturer, has expanded its operations in Australia over recent years. In 2020, it opened a new Supercharger station in Gundagai, New South Wales, which is powered by renewable energy.
  • Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES) is a consortium of academic and industry partners such as Cubic and PTV Group that is conducting CAV trials in Melbourne. The trials involve testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, as well as exploring the potential for connected vehicle technology to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.
  • The iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre conducts numerous CAV trials across Australia, such as the use of automated buses on campus at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
  • Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) is a collaboration between the Queensland Government, industry partners, and academic institutions. The project is testing CAV technology in a range of settings, including projects such as the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Trial.

Success stories

A white bus waits in the street to pick up passengers.
A concept image of the Wisk Aero Generation 6 aero taxi

Contact an investment specialist Let's talk business