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Australia has often been criticised for its slow action in policy change and support for the adoption of electric vehicles with a small percentage of new vehicles sold being EVs.

In the past, Australia has been called a ‘dumping ground’ for fossil-fuel-powered vehicles as places such as Europe aggressively push for emission-conscious vehicles.

Europe’s recent moves to eradicate fossil fuel-powered vehicles from their roads call into question the effect this will have on Australia’s access to EVs.

“The only fuel efficiency standards that will make a difference are standards in line with those that exist in the US and Europe,” Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said earlier this year.

“Car manufacturers sell the bulk of their vehicles into markets with fuel efficiency standards because that helps avoid penalty. There is currently no such incentive in Australia, which relegates this market to a lower-order priority.

“There is no path to net zero by 2050 unless Australia stops selling emitting vehicles by 2035. Cars in Australia have a 15-year average life span. If we’re still selling a significant quantity of combustion engine vehicles in 2036 we fail on net zero. It’s that simple.”

Vehicle manufacturers are directing their EV product to countries that do have fuel and emissions standards, comparatively leaving Australia in the dust.

“Australians are being left behind simply because, as a nation, we are still accepting gas-guzzling cars with no emissions standards,” says Richie Merzian, the TAI’s climate and energy program director.