Governments have to get their acts together to address the global problem of climate change. Adopting cleaner vehicles should be on the top of their lists. While countries have collectively agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, present efforts are way off the mark.
It’s good to know that things are about to change in some parts of the world – starting in the land of fjords.
Norway targets 2025
Call it ambitious, but Norway’s goal is clear – to remove internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles from their roads and ensure that only zero-emission new cars will hit the market by 2025. But that’s barely three years away! Yes, and the Norwegians are closer to their mark than you think. The market share of e-cars was 31.2% in 2018 and increased to 42.4% in 2019 (60,316 out of 142,381). Sales analysts project at least a 55% market share for EVs this year. Norway is clearly in the right direction – it has rolled out free charging stations and is offering attractive tax and usage incentives for EV sales.
Israel banning ICE cars in 2030
The Israeli government has announced early this year the phasing out of fossil-fuel vehicles by 2030 and its shift to renewable energy. It plans to reduce taxes on e-car sales and order replacing fuel stations with charging stations. It will ban the import of ICE cars and will fund over 2,000 charging infrastructure across the country. The country’s mid-term projection is 177,000 EVs by 2025, a step towards its grand goal of 1.5 million by 2030.
Phase-out in the UK moved earlier
The UK government makes a new commitment – instead of banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, they have moved their target closer to 2035. Also, the government committed to clean up the roads of all gas-emitting vehicles by 2050.
Iceland commits to 2030 timetable
In Iceland’s bid to attain its climate goals of reducing CO2 emissions by half in 2030, the government announced its action plan to ban the sales of ICE cars by 2030. This commitment includes abolishing gas-powered vehicles by 2050.
Other countries with plans to disallow gas-fuelled cars
The following countries have also announced plans to ban diesel and petrol cars in the future.
- China – no time commitment
- Costa Rica – 2050
- Denmark – 2030
- France – 2040
- Ireland – 2030
- Netherlands – 2030
- Singapore – 2040
- Slovenia – 2030
- Sri Lanka 2040
- Sweden - 2030
These countries have expressed that the ban would only affect the sale or registration of new cars. Most of them have set a later date for the abolishing of existing gas-powered vehicles altogether. Some countries not on this list, like Belgium, NZ and Canada, have not made a commitment as a nation. They have, however, at least one city that has expressed compliance to this global goal.
What about Australia?
Sadly, the national government currently has no policy taking up this goal. Some advocates, like the NRMA, call for banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles as early as 2025! That sounds like an aggressive target by any standard, considering that there were only 7,300 electric vehicles in Australia as of last year, and EV sales made up a pitiable 0.2% of the total new car sales.
In what looks like a twist of fate for the EVs, however, the March 2020 sales figures seem promising. While the total year-to-date sales fell by 18%, the new car sales in the electric/PHEV and hybrid segments significantly increased overall. Electric/PHEVs (both private passenger and light commercial classes) sold around twice of last year’s sales. The rest of the EV segment, except for the SUV non-private class, also surprisingly improved over the previous year’s performance.
The industry needs a government-led strategy
So what’s Australia’s pulse about this effort to revolutionise the automotive industry? Are we on the same page as these 14 countries? Our local car parts manufacturing is a thriving industry, but its dependence on the traditional ICE market puts it in a vulnerable position.
On the other hand, there’s only one Earth, and it’s our responsibility to protect it for future generations. Also, signs are rife that consumers are slowly warming up to the idea of electric vehicles. The federal government is expected to make public its climate strategy later this year, and we will be following developments in this area.
For updates on this issue and the latest automotive news around the world, we invite you to browse our website regularly. If you need car parts or accessories, you will find our auto parts finder easy to use. Simply fill in the request form, send it, and wait for the offers from sellers and suppliers. It will make searching and buying easier, quicker, and safer!