IF LABOR WINS the Federal election increasing numbers of Australians will be behind the wheel of an electric vehicle – a move that is long overdue, according to the Climate Council.
Media reports this morning suggest the Federal Opposition is about to announce an ambitious EV target. It wants 50 percent of new vehicles sold in Australia by 2030 to be electric.
“This policy is the jolt Australia needs to modernise our cars and start dealing with transport pollution,” said the Climate Council’s CEO, Amanda McKenzie.
“Australians expect to have access to the best technology but because of poor government transport policy, we have been stuck in the slow lane. European countries are miles in front of us on this issue. Even New Zealanders are buying more EVs than Australians,” she said.
Transport is Australia’s third largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, contributing to almost 20 percent of our emissions. It is also a major health burden with approximately 1,700 people dying every year as a result of air pollution from cars, trucks and buses – larger than the national road toll.
“It is critical to ensure that electric vehicles are supported by renewable energy so that people can charge their cars with clean power,” said Ms McKenzie.
“We also welcome reports suggesting Labor will introduce new vehicle emissions standards.
But any policy to support cleaner cars needs to complemented by support for clean, efficient public transport as well as cycling to ensure people have viable alternatives to driving,” she said.
“Australia is extremely vulnerable to climate change and we are already experiencing more severe droughts and heatwaves as well as longer bushfire seasons. Under the current government, pollution has been going up and up and up,” said Ms McKenzie.
“Now, finally, we are seeing credible policy initiatives aimed at driving down pollution and dealing with climate change,” she said.
“There’s other good news too. EVS are becoming more affordable every year. By 2025 they will be cheaper than polluting cars, which means more and more Australians will be able to buy them,” she said.