Australia has been urged to follow the Tory government in the UK and impose a ban on sales of new fossil fuel cars by 2035, just as the local electric vehicle market starts to show signs of life amid a sharp slump in the sales of petrol and diesel cars.
The Electric Vehicle Council on Thursday issued new data that confirms The Driven estimates, published last month, that showed sales of plug in electrics have tripled from just 2,216 in 2018 to 6,718 in 2019 (including plug in hybrids).
The jump was driven mostly by Tesla which accounted for 70 per cent of electric sales, mostly through the Model 3.
But according to the EVC, if Australia had a similar rate of uptake to other countries there should be about 50,000 new EVs on Australian roads.
And although Australia is ripe for the transition, and increasing numbers of customers are saying their next purchase will be electric, there is a policy vacuum – and a shortage of available models – that is holding Australia back
EVC chief executive Behyad Jafari and the principal clean energy transition advisor for Ernst and Young, Matt Rennie, have called on Australia to follow the UK, which announced this week that it would bring forward its ban on new petrol and diesel car sales from 2040 to 2035, and add hybrids to the black list.
They say that if the policy vacuum is not addressed soon, Australia will fall even further behind the global transition to clean transport, because car makers will be discourage from bringing more affordable electric cars to market, says Jafari.
“The bad news is that even with this strong growth, EVs still one represent 0.6 per cent of sales. That compares poorly to 3.8 per cent of sales in Europe and 4.7 per cent of sales in China,” he told The Driven.
“If the Australian EV market had the same incentives and support as the EU and China, we would be talking about some 50,000 new EVs on our roads.
“That would actually start delivering significant benefit in terms of cleaning our air, lowering our carbon emissions, and lowering our dependence on foreign oil.”
The Morrison government, which attacked Labor’s proposed target of 50 per cent share of new car sales for EVs by 2030 in the lead up to the last election, is due to unveil its EV strategy later this year.
So far, it has resisted calls for EV incentives. The main auto industry body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, said any such initiates should include support for efficient petrol and diesel cars.
“The automotive industry has achieved significant gains in the increased efficiency of internal combustion petrol and diesel engines and they will continue to play a significant role for many years to come,” the FCAI said in a statement.
To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle-dedicated site, The Driven, click here…