The European Union (EU) recently passed a law that requires carmakers to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars and vans sold by 100 percent by 2035. With 340 votes in favour, 279 against and 21 abstentions, the new law will effectively ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the bloc of 27 countries. Automakers will need to achieve intermediate emissions reduction targets of 55 percent for cars and 50 percent for vans by 2030. However, the new law will not apply to car brands producing fewer than 1,000 vehicles annually.
The introduction of the emissions law in the EU will likely have a significant impact on the vehicle market in Australia. Jake Whitehead, the policy head at the Electric Vehicle Council, a peak body representing the EV industry in Australia, said the European law would cause petrol vehicles to become much rarer and more expensive to buy, potentially inflating the price of an average car by $17,000 (US$11,700). Australian Electric Vehicle Association president Chris Jones said local motorists would not have many options left apart from getting a new EV.
The remarks from automobile experts come as Australia saw a sharp growth in the number of EVs sold, which will soon reach the 100,000 milestone. Over 83,000 EVs were in circulation by the end of 2022, with 39,353 EVs added in the last year alone. Tesla continued to dominate the local EV market, with its Model 3 and Model Y accounting for nearly half of the total sales, followed by the Atto 3 model from Chinese manufacturer BYD and the HS+ PHEV model from the Chinese-owned MG Motor. The number of charging stations across the country had surged by 44.8 percent to 4,943 in 2022. Despite this uptick in EV purchases, the Australian Bureau of Statistics notes that in 2021 there were 20.1 million registered motor vehicles in Australia, with 98.2 percent utilising petrol or diesel fuel sources.