Australia should join UK in petrol vehicle ban, says BZE

Beyond Zero Emissions

By Lauren Davis
Friday, 28 July, 2017

The British Government yesterday announced that new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040, just weeks after France unveiled similar plans — and energy think tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) wants Australia to join them.

BZE claims that a shift to electric vehicles (EVs) would be an easy and affordable option for Australia, noting that EVs are significantly cheaper to run and maintain than petrol or diesel vehicles. Shifting all of Australia’s cars and buses to electric within a decade would therefore be cost neutral, BZE said, because the upfront cost of buying new EVs would be offset by their lower ongoing costs. And with the cost of EV batteries having fallen 75% since 2010, BZE states that EVs will be cheaper to buy than a petrol- or diesel-equivalent vehicle within eight years.

Other advantages are of course environmental, with BZE noting that the number of premature deaths currently caused by air pollution in Australia is similar to the road toll — with petrol and diesel vehicles the biggest contributors to poor air quality. A shift to EVs would also enable Australia to eliminate up to 8% of its greenhouse gas emissions, according to BZE — or more than the entire emissions of South Australia.

“We don’t want the rest of the world looking at us in the rear-view mirror,” said BZE’s head of research, Michael Lord. “We have the technology right now to get all of our cars, vans and trucks to be electric — all that’s missing is the willpower to do it.”

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