Via The Guardian:
The Greens have proposed introducing mandatory fuel efficiency standards, ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and imposing a four-year 17% tax on luxury petrol and diesel cars as part of an electric vehicle policy announced on Tuesday.
Under the proposal Australia would adopt a mandatory fuel efficiency standard of 105g of CO2 a kilometre by 2022, three years earlier than a proposal being considered by the federal government.
It would also cut tariffs and charges on new electric or zero-emissions vehicles, including the 5% import tariff, GST and stamp duty, in order to lower the purchase price to match new petrol or diesel cars, and offer three years free registration on new zero-emissions vehicles.
The tax breaks, as well as a $151m national fund to build up to 3,000 electric car charging stations, would be funded by a 17% tax on fossil fuel emitting cars with a purchase price of more than $65,000. That tax would be imposed on top of the existing 33% luxury vehicle tax for cars in that price range and is expected to generate $500m a year over a limited four-year run.
A University of New South Wales researcher, Gail Broadbent, who is studying electric vehicles at the university’s school of biological, earth, and environmental sciences, said the targets were achievable and would increase Australia’s sluggish adoption of electric vehicles, provided exemptions were included for remote Indigenous communities that were unlikely to have access to a charging station.
Transport makes up 27% of global emissions so this is inevitable. Good on The Greens for pushing it forward.
My take is subsidies (or carbon prices or both) will be needed. Although electric cars will save money over the long term they will probably remain a little more expansive up front. So the sticker price will act as a deterrent to change like it did with long-life light bulbs.
Whatever array of pricing changes are imposed they should slide away as the transition happens so that we don’t end up with the kind of lumpy subsidy problems thrown up by programs like the Renewable Energy Target. These create economic air-pockets, become easily disrupted politically and provide little certainty for industry.
Simply imposing a ban date on new petrol cars may be the way to go.