The Australian car industry has hit out at an “almost farcical” ban of new petrol and diesel cars in Canberra from 2035.
ACT’s Minister for Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury will publish the territory’s Zero Emissions Vehicles Strategy this week.
The policy includes a ban on new registrations of internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035.
A spokesman for the minister’s office said it planned to establish a zero emissions sales target of 80 to 90 per cent of new light vehicle sales by 2030.
“The strategy will set out new incentives and programs designed to accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and support the community in making this shift,” he said.
The ACT will encourage motorists to go green by banning petrol and diesel cars. Picture: AFP
“With emissions from transport accounting for around 60 per cent of ACT emissions, the transition to zero emissions vehicles is a key part of our efforts to cut emissions and achieve our goal of net zero emissions by 2045.”
Tesla has increasingly fierce competition from established carmakers.
The decision to ban sales of combustion vehicles by 2035 follows similar policy in Europe. The UK will stop sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030, followed by hybrid models in 2035.
Even so, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Tony Weber said the ACT target represented an “enormous leap” for the car industry.
“We think that by 2030 EV penetration in this market will be around the 20 per cent mark. That’s a fair bit,” he said.
Electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf are growing in popularity.
“The world is changing. But to say we’re going to ban ICE by 2035 is an enormous leap.
“There’s been a lack of consultation within the industry.
“When you have a jurisdiction of the size of the ACT going it alone, it’s becoming almost farcical.”
Mr Weber said there was no sign Australia’s most popular vehicles, four-wheel-drive dual-cab utes, would be offered with electric power.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber.
Chief executive of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association James Voortman said there were “serious concerns that this policy will have adverse consequences for the automotive industry”.
“Electric vehicles are currently more expensive and at present there is a distinct lack of choice in available makes and models. These factors may well change by 2035, but this ban has been foreshadowed in an environment where there is great uncertainty,” he said.
“The big risk is that people hold onto their older, more polluting cars for longer which will do nothing for reducing emissions.”
But EV Council chief executive Behyad Jafari welcomed the ACT’s approach as “a sensible long term target that is achievable”, as more than 40 per cent of the world new vehicle market had established dates for petrol sales bans.
“It tells everyone from car makers to people investigating in EV infrastructure that this is the direction we’re heading in,” he said.
“We’d rather this was a national approach rather than the ACT doing it, hopefully it does lead to national co-ordination.
“It’s time to get on with it.”
The ACT was responsible for about 16,000 of the 1.05 million cars bought by Australians in 2021. Electric cars represented about 1.6 per cent of new car sales last year, a number that climbs to 2 per cent with the inclusion of plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars.