"We have all of the mineral resources to create things like batteries and the componentry that fits within electric vehicles, there's an opportunity for us to have a role in the automotive market," said Behyad Jafari, chief executive of the Electric Vehicle Council, which represents car manufacturers.
The council is pushing for a co-ordinated national plan to encourage and support the purchase of electric vehicles.
Scott Benjamin, the technical director of intelligent transport for engineering design group WSP, says international vehicle makers are importing components for electric vehicles and bolting them together in Australia, but there is interest from local companies in making vehicles here, potentially using 3D printing.
WSP has discussed the potential for local manufacturing with several companies, including French group Navya, which has been running trials of an electric and autonomous "Intellibus" in Perth for the Royal Automobile Club, and US group Local Motors, which has built a 3D printed car.
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