Green car innovation fund opens



car exhaust

New funding for motor vehicle producers is intended to cut emissions from the industy.

Credit: The Tampa Bay Post

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The Australian Government's $1.3 billion Green Car Innovation Fund officially opened for applications today.

The fund will provide assistance, on a co-investment basis, over ten years, for companies to design, develop and manufacture low-emission, fuel-efficient cars and components in Australia.

It is a key part of the Rudd Government's $6.2 billion New Car Plan for a Greener Future, designed to transform and renew the Australian automotive industry - making it more economically and environmentally sustainable.

In calling for applications under the program, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, confirmed that funding will flow from 1 July 2009.

"[The fund] is about working in partnership with the [automotive manufacturing] industry to make it more creative, greener, more competitive, and more productive... [offering] grants to help drive down vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and motoring costs for Australian families," Senator Carr said.

"It will support research, development and early stage commercialisation of green Australian automotive technologies," he said, and will as well create high-skill, high-wage jobs.

Grants under the fund will be offered on a competitive basis of one dollar of government funding to three dollars of investment from the applicant.

The program will be delivered under two streams, with motor vehicle producers (MVPs) able to apply for grants of $5 million or more, and other, non-MVP applicants elibigble to apply for grants of $100,000 or more.