New petrol and diesel cars could be banned by 2030 under a state government plan for zero transport emissions.
Infrastructure Victoria’s climate change plan risks hurting low and middle-income earners, with fully-electric car prices starting at $50,000 for a Nissan Leaf rising to $200,000 for the new Porsche Taycan.
The state government agency’s proposal is designed to make electric vehicles cheaper, emulating similar European Union and UK targets.
But critics say it is ‘out of touch’ and disastrous for the millions of Australians who cannot afford the pricey vehicles in 2021 – with electric cars making up just 0.4 per cent of new car sales.
New petrol and diesel cars could be banned by 2030 under a state government plan for zero transport emissions. Pictured is a Honda Prelude being refuelled with unleaded in Melbourne
Emilie Dye (pictured) said the proposal to ban new diesel and petrol cars was a ‘terrible idea’ that would squeeze the poor
Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance director of policy Emilie Dye slammed the Victoria government proposal, based on a new 30-year transport strategy, arguing it was a ‘terrible idea’ that would squeeze the poor.
‘In general, the people that can’t afford to live close to public transit, the people that can’t afford to live close to work are the people that are driving the most,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The starting value for electric vehicles is over $47,000 – a lot of Australians can’t afford to cough up 50 grand on a car.’
Porsche sold 161 new Taycans last month, four times the tally for Nissan’s 41 Leafs.
But priced from $190,000 and $50,000, respectively, such elite models are out of reach of most Australians.
Tesla prices start at $67,000 for the Model 3.
Infrastructure Victoria’s plan risks hurting lower-income earners with fully-electric car prices starting at $50,000 for a Nissan Leaf
Green cars in Australia
Porsche Taycan priced from $190,000: 161 sales
Nissan Leaf priced from $49,990: 41 sales
PLUG-IN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE
MG HS priced from $46,990
Mitsubishi Outlander priced from $51,990
Toyota RAV4 priced from $36,070
Toyota Prius priced from $38,365: five sales
Chris Jones, the secretary of the the Australian Electric Vehicle Association, said a vehicle emissions target was needed to ‘drive innovation and competition’ and make electric cars more affordable.
‘If you aim for nothing you’ll always hit it,’ he said.
‘A target signals to EV manufacturing companies that Australia is a willing and receptive market, and this will drive competition and diversity, which always pushes prices down.’
In March, just 411 fully electric cars were sold – or just 0.4 per cent among the 100,000 cars that left showrooms, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data showed.
Petrol-electric hybrids had a 6.5 per cent market share with 6,548 sold.
Twice as many fully electric cars were sold in March 2021 compared with March 2020.
Ms Dye said more drivers would eventually switch to electric vehicles to avoid paying extra for petrol – without the need for bans on fossil fuel-powered cars.
‘As [the vehicles] become more efficient the prices will go down more and more people will see electric vehicles as accessible,’ she said.
Mr Jones conceded car makers would produce more electric cars anyway.
‘Most manufacturers of cars see the writing on the wall, and will stop making petrol and diesel cars well before 2030,’ he said.
Electric vehicle advocates said targets were ‘essential’, adding that aiming to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 would drive down prices for green vehicles. Pictured is a Tesla Model 3
‘This means Australians will be buying them regardless … [and] by 2030, EVs will be cheaper than petrol and diesel cars.’
Infrastructure Australia, a federal government body, has also proposed more charging stations and getting governments to buy electric car fleets to create a second-hand market with lower prices.
Infrastructure Victoria deputy chief executive Jonathan Spear said if all cars had zero emissions, 27million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emissions would be removed by 2046.
‘Victoria’s emissions have been decreasing in every other sector except for transport, where cars are responsible for more than half of the state’s transport emissions,’ he said.