Australians likely to be forced to buy electric cars by 2035

Experts predict Australian drivers may have limited options beyond purchasing electric vehicles within 12 years.

Australians likely to be forced to buy electric cars by 2035
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Europe's recent decision to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, with significant penalties levied against fossil fuel vehicles, may impact cars sold in Australia.

Industry experts have warned that Australia urgently needs new policies to avoid accepting vehicles that other developed countries will not allow.

The Electric Vehicle Council of Australia policy head, Jake Whitehead, warns that the European law could make petrol and diesel vehicles significantly more difficult to find and more expensive to buy, potentially adding $17,000 to the price of an average car.

The European Union's new law requires all cars and vans sold in 2035 to be zero-emission vehicles. Automakers must also cut car emissions by 55% in 2030 and only car brands producing fewer than 1000 vehicles a year will be exempt from the new law.

The move creates clarity for the car industry and stimulates innovation and investment for car manufacturers, says European Council member Jan Huitema. He notes that purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers, and a secondhand market will emerge more quickly.

While the European law stops short of banning new petrol cars, it will make them significantly harder to find and more expensive to buy. This restriction could come as a shock to some Australian car buyers, who do not realise that petrol and diesel vehicles could be removed from the market in just over a decade.

Australian Electric Vehicle Association president Chris Jones predicts that many car makers will simply stop producing cars with internal combustion engines within the next decade, even before any ban. Local buyers would then have little choice but to invest in an electric vehicle for their next car.

The European law is expected to increase pressure on the Australian federal government to introduce a fuel efficiency standard, ensuring the latest motoring technology reaches Australia. Whitehead suggests that if Australia does not choose to stay in line with similar economies like the US and Europe, it will end up aligned with developing economies, receiving the same vehicles they're getting, which could mean lower safety standards.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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