As the company Ford made international news headlines this week with its decision to make all cars sold in Europe electric by 2030, critics in Australia have warned the country could be left behind if it doesn’t do more to keep up with the electrical move forward.
What is being seen as one big step for Ford, turns out to be one small step for Australia as it fails to incentivise consumers into the electric car market. Without incentives from the government to help support the move, it is unlikely consumers will undergo the troubling and currently quite expensive process of moving from a petrol to an electric vehicle when purchasing a new car.
Electric vehicles are being favoured by European governments in an effort to reduce carbon emissions caused by the traditional internal combustion engines used in most vehicles at this time. Several European countries have pledged to ban fossil fuels by 2030, giving them ten years to phase out the traditional petrol car. Norway is leading the way with plans to go fully electric with its vehicles by 2025, whilst the UK had planned to eliminate the combustion engine by 2040, but recently joined other European countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany to go electric in the next decade.
Tax incentives from European governments are one reason why consumers are able to make the move to electric vehicles, whereas in Australia however, electric vehicles are still classified as a luxury item making them more expensive then their petrol counterparts. For European countries such as the UK, Germany and Italy, as well as in the United States of America, buyers receive a tax subsidy of roughly $10,000 Australian Dollars in the purchase of their vehicle.
Behyad Jafari of Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council described Australia’s current laws as creating a potential “parallel world”, where Australian drivers are left in the dust compared to climate conscious European and North American consumers. Jafari commented that “manufacturers are having these big targets but countries like Australia are not keeping up.” He went on to describe how “It’s like we are still trying to work out if the internet is a real thing or not while other countries are racing after the once in a lifetime opportunity to rebuild the automotive world.”