Australia Targets All New Light Vehicle Sales to be EVs by 2035
Transport sectors make up 19% of Australia's emissions
The Australian government aims to increase the share of electric vehicles (EV) in new light vehicle sales to 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2035 to transition to a decarbonized transport system.
According to the first National Electric Vehicle Strategy, increasing EV share in the transport system would reduce transport emissions by 52 Mt CO2-e in 2030 and 173 Mt CO2-e in 2050. It would also save consumers billions in fuel and maintenance costs by 2050. The strategy is aligned with Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 plan.
The transport sector accounts for 19% of Australia’s emissions, with passenger cars and light commercial vehicles alone contributing 60%.
Australia is among the global leaders in producing raw materials and critical minerals essential for EV battery manufacturing. The country boasts the largest economic reserve of nickel and the world’s largest production of bauxite and lithium. It also ranks among the top four producers of rare earth metals, cobalt, and manganese and has a significant graphite reserve.
One of the key initiatives to increase the supply of EVs is the development of Australia’s first Fuel Efficiency Standard for new light vehicles. This standard will encourage manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles, including electric and hybrid models, which will help to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
Another important initiative is preparing a recycling, reuse, and stewardship initiative for EVs and other large-format batteries. This will help to ensure that EVs are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner and that the valuable materials contained within the batteries can be recovered and reused.
The government is establishing a range of incentives and commitments to encourage demand for EVs, including state and territory EV fleet targets, incentives, and commitments.
For example, the Queensland government has set a target for 50% of new passenger vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2030 and 100% by 2036.
The government is also working to establish a net-zero Australian Public Service by 2030, including a target of 75% low emissions vehicles for Commonwealth fleet new passenger vehicle purchases and leases by 2025.
To support the infrastructure needed for the widespread adoption of EVs, the government is working to establish a national network of EV chargers on major highways, with an average interval of 150 km.
The government is also investing in initiatives to support the training and development of skills needed to support EV uptake, including the New Energy Apprenticeships and New Energy Skills Program. This will help to ensure a skilled workforce capable of supporting the EV industry.
A think tank Climate Energy Finance report said Australia could become a potential supply chain partner for the global renewables sector and an alternative to China due to its abundance of rare earth minerals.
A report by the International Energy Agency suggested that robust mining and drilling measures will help the EV sector fulfill its metal needs to boost the transport electrification drive.