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Australia doubles down on electric future with nation’s first National Battery Strategy

The Honourable Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Assistant Minister for Defence, Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and Assistant Minister for the Republic unveils a Bushmaster Electric Protected mobility Vehicle during the Chief of Army Symposium 2022. Photo: SGT Tristan Kennedy

The federal government has doubled down on plans to electrify domestic industry and develop battery technology under the nation’s first National Battery Strategy.

The federal government has doubled down on plans to electrify domestic industry and develop battery technology under the nation’s first National Battery Strategy.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese personally announced the National Battery Strategy in support of the recent “Future Made in Australia” campaign and shoring up economic resilience and security.

The new strategy follows recent comments from Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles that the electrification of the entire Australian Defence Force vehicle fleet, where possible, is being considered.


The government has identified four high-value strategic opportunities under the new National Battery Strategy. These include building stationary storage to ensure renewable power generation in the national grid, providing battery active materials to the world by upgrading raw minerals into processed battery components, developing batteries for the transport and heavy vehicle manufacturing industry, as well as building safer and more secure batteries connected to the grid.

The global demand for batteries is set to quadruple by 2030 as the world transitions to net zero, and the federal government’s strategy maps a path for Australia to take advantage of this growth to build a thriving battery industry, PM Albanese said.

“We want to make more things here and with global demand for batteries set to quadruple by 2030, Australia must be a player in this field,” he said on 23 May.

“Batteries are a critical ingredient in Australia’s clean energy mix. Together with renewable energy, green hydrogen, and critical minerals, we will meet Australia’s emission reduction targets and create a strong clean energy manufacturing industry.”

Under the 2024 federal budget, more than $523.2 million has been allocated for the Battery Breakthrough Initiative, administered by ARENA, to promote the development of battery manufacturing capabilities through production incentives targeted at the highest value opportunities in the supply chain.

Under the budget, $20.3 million is allocated for Building Future Battery Capabilities to incentivise cutting-edge battery research, including support for Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre to map Australian battery capability and value chains as well as an Australia Industry Growth Centre to develop workforce skills and training.

The budget also includes $1.7 billion for a new Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund, administered by ARENA, to accelerate deployment of innovative technologies and facilities through support for innovation, commercialisation, pilot and demonstration projects in priority sectors, including clean energy manufacturing such as batteries.

“Australia is a pioneer of battery tech, yet for too long we’ve sent our ideas offshore and lost the good jobs they create,” according to Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic.

“A strong battery industry can supercharge our path to net zero and create a Future Made in Australia.

“Australia is moving beyond a ‘dig and ship’ economy to become a renewable energy superpower.

“It’s inexcusable that we supply half the global supply of lithium but produce less than 1 per cent of the world’s processed battery components.

“The global clean energy transition is happening – and we’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Australia to create more well-paid, secure jobs.”

Earlier this week, on 20 May, federal government ministers met with the domestic defence industry to discuss the future electrification of the Australian Defence Force’s vehicle fleet.

The transition to electric vehicles for the ADF is expected to be a critical priority and in keeping with the future of international defence equipment, according to the ministers.

The Australian Defence Force has also previously rolled out a Bushmaster electric protected mobility vehicle to support field training at Gallipoli Barracks in October last year. The Bushmaster vehicle prototype, which uses electric propulsion technology, has been able to demonstrate its power storage and supply capability.

It’s understood the new National Battery Strategy plans to build on existing government initiatives such as the Industry Growth Program, Solar Sunshot, the National Reconstruction Fund and the Critical Minerals Facility.

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