A plan to ban new petrol cars in the ACT by 2035 has been lambasted by radio host Ben Fordham, amid fears the move could create big problems for many locals.
In an Australian first, Canberra has announced it will become the first jurisdiction to require all new cars to be electric, with motorists to be banned from buying new ‘fossil fuel’ vehicles.
ACT Emissions Reduction Minister Shane Rattenbury said the rules will apply to new cars, motorcycles and small trucks.
“Our intention is that from 2035 you will no longer be able to put new [petrol cars] on the road,” he said.
“But the government has no intention of taking your car off the road if you drive an all-gas vehicle at the start of the year.”
By 2030, the ACT also wants 80-90% of new light-duty vehicles sold to be zero-emission models.
Speaking on 2GB on Tuesday morning, Fordham claimed the move was just the next “campaign of shame” led by “virtue signaling leaders”.
“Within 13 years, they want all new cars to be electric,” he said.
“Now you might be able to do it in 13 years in a small town like Canberra, but good luck doing it in Sydney.
“Six million vehicles are registered in the state of NSW, how are you going to charge for them all?”
Fordham pointed out that Australians had already been hit by energy problems in recent months, with Australians being urged to switch off large appliances like dishwashers and hospitals to switch off non-critical equipment.
“Office buildings were turning off their lights. Companies used to tell their employees to turn off the printer when not in use. So if we can’t power the printer and the dishwasher, how are we going to power six million electric vehicles? ” He asked.
“And you don’t just load them once, you have to load them, load them and repeat.”
The radio host said electric vehicles were “fantastic” but claimed there was a “reason” why they only account for around 2% of new car sales.
“The price is out of reach for the average Australian family and we have yet to determine how we are going to keep millions of them charged and ready to drive,” he said.
Fordham was not alone in expressing concern over the move, with the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA), the top body representing franchised new car dealerships, fearing the cost of purchasing new electric vehicles is still too high for many consumers. by 2035.
“We have serious concerns that this policy will have adverse consequences for the auto industry, the people it employs and ACT consumers,” said AADA CEO James Voortman.
“Electric vehicles are currently more expensive and at present there is a clear lack of choice in the makes and models available. These factors may well change by 2035, but this ban was announced in an environment where there is great uncertainty.
Mr Voortman said the other “big risk” is that people feel the need to keep older, dirtier cars around for longer than they otherwise would.
There are already monetary incentives in place to encourage people to buy electric cars, with interest-free loans of up to $15,000 in the ACT.
A person buying a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) for the first time may not have to pay stamp duty and the purchase of a new or used electric vehicle will result in free ACT vehicle registration for two years.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also offered incentives for Australians to buy electricity, with vehicles set to be exempt from a 5% import duty that will reduce the cost of a vehicle by $2,000. $40,000.
They will also be exempt from employee benefits tax, which will encourage companies to equip their employees with electric cars.
Despite this, Mr Voortman said there were still problems with the plan, wondering how the ACT would implement it.
“It is unclear how the ACT will enforce this ban and prevent consumers from simply buying an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle across the border and re-registering it here as a used car. “, did he declare.
Mr Voortman claimed that rather than this “gross ban”, the government would be better off putting in place a technology-independent CO2 standard so that manufacturers understand what emissions targets they need to meet.
He said this would give manufacturers the freedom to deploy the technology to achieve this goal.
“The transition to low-emission vehicles will have major consequences for Canberrans and all Australians and it is essential that we develop a national strategy to facilitate the transition,” he said.
“This is another example of why the transition to low-emission vehicles should be led by the federal government, which controls the importation of new vehicles into the Australian market.”
Mr Voortman added: ‘Disappointingly, there has been no consultation on this major change and the auto companies in the ACT are scratching their heads and wondering what the future holds.’
Other states and territories are expected to follow Canberra’s example in the coming years.
Mr Rattenbury said that although full details had yet to be finalised, the ACT Government wanted to send motorists a clear signal of the direction it was heading.
“We try to signal where we’re going early on so people are clear where the future is,” he said.