Savvy, petrol-loving drivers have already exposed a loophole that will allow them to keep driving their gas guzzlers long after Australia’s capital enforces a ban on them.
The ACT confirmed on Monday it would phase out all new petrol cars and lightweight diesel trucks from 2035, making it the first Australian jurisdiction to commit to the emission-reducing scheme.
Savvy motorists quickly noted the announcement by Greens MP and Emissions Reduction Minister Shane Rattenbury did not apply to vehicles that were registered outside of Canberra.
A loophole that allows motorists to drive new petrol-powered cars in Australia’s capital after it announced plans to ban them looks set to stand – for now.
The ACT confirmed on Monday it will phase out all new petrol cars and lightweight diesel trucks from 2035, making it the first Australian jurisdiction to commit to the emission-reducing scheme
A statement from Mr Rattenbury said ‘the intent is not to take people’s cars off the road at 2035 if they’re still driving an internal combustion engine vehicle, but simply to make sure no new vehicles come into the market’.
But a member Mr Rattenbury’s staff confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that new light internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles would be allowed in the ACT after 2035 – if the vehicle is registered outside of the territory.
‘I can assure you that there will not be police at the border of the ACT ensuring that all vehicles that enter are electric,’ the Greens staffer quipped.
One woman on Reddit pointed out ACT drivers would only have to drive a few minutes to buy a petrol car at the NSW town of Queanbeyan, which has a Service NSW office for new car registrations.
That loophole could however snap shut if other states and territories follow ACT’s lead and ban new petrol and diesel vehicles on a similar timeline.
Mr Rattenbury’s announcement sparked a lively debate on Canberra’s Reddit thread, with users split for and against the move.
Savvy motorists quickly noted the announcement by Shane Rattenbury, a member of the Greens and the Minister of Emissions Reduction did not apply to vehicles that were registered outside of Canberra
Some said they looked forward to embracing electric vehicles (EVs) – when the prices are more reasonable.
That will likely happen, with government aiming to dramatically increase the number of EVs sold well before 2035.
The ACT government wants 90 per cent of new cars sold by 2030 to be EVs.
The policy will also include a series of incentives and programs.
While the cheapest EVs currently cost almost twice as much as budget petrol cars, that is certain to change – though few in the online forum thought it would happen in the next few years.
It was clear that plenty of Australians plan to keep buying petrol cars – including in the ACT.
‘If a new electric car is not affordable, you can buy a used petrol car. I don’t see the issue here unless for some reason you must have a new car?’ said a Reddit user.
‘You don’t have to own an electric vehicle after 2035,’ another pointed out.
‘You can still get an internal combustion vehicle from NSW. Transfer it to the ACT as second hand. When that is outlawed, just put your mate’s NSW address down and never transfer it to ACT rego.’
Another man went as far as predicting he may never own an EV.
‘If I’m still alive I’ll probably be driving a petrol car for 10 years past that . The ban is only on new sales and I don’t buy cars very often,’ a man agreed.
Even with a ban proposed, plenty believe petrol cars will not disappear for many years – even with second-hand electric vehicles entering the market.
‘The ban is 13 years away, is toothless, and could be changed at a whim if the concerned about potential unaffordability outcome occurs,’ another Reddit user said.
‘On top of that, the second hand market will still have a ton of petrol cars (in addition to second hand EVs).’
While the cheapest EVs currently cost almost twice as much as budget petrol cars, that is certain to change
While data on secondhand car sales is more difficult to track than new car sales, it is estimated that up to three out of every four vehicles sold are used cars.
A major factor, as always, will be the costs involved.
One man pointed out if the cost of petrol keeps rising as it has, motorists may be desperate to switch to electric vehicles long before 2035.
‘With the prices of petrol, I can’t see how genuinely struggling people could afford to run a petrol car these days, let alone in a decade when fuel will cost even more,’ one man said.