Australia could soon follow the European Union in banning the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government, which is the nation’s seat of power, announced a new strategy to ban ICE car sales from 2035.
The plan outlines several initiatives the ACT government wants to implement to help the transition, such as expanding the public charging network, offering grants to install charging infrastructure at apartments, and more. This is the country’s first jurisdiction to move to ban sales and highlights a potential issue in the country where states enact conflicting rules and regulations.
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The ACT government also aims to have 80 to 90 percent of new car sales in the territory be battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles. The government also wants to ban taxi and ride-share companies from adding more ICE vehicles to fleets. There are plans to increase the jurisdiction’s public infrastructure network to 70 chargers by 2023, with the goal of having 180 by 2025.
According to Car Expert, the ACT hopes to lead Australia’s EV revolution. The territory already offers generous interest-free loans of up to $15,000 for eligible EVs and two years of free registration. The territorial government also said its plan would call for the government to only lease zero-emission vehicles where applicable, with plans to explore replacing heavy fleet vehicles as well.
ACT’s announcement arrives mere weeks after the European Union announced it would ban new ICE car sales throughout its jurisdiction by 2035. This helps avoid individual countries creating contradictory regulations that’d add cost and complexity to the automotive industry.
The ACT government’s announcement could set the stage for federal regulations that align each state and territory in Australia. The 2035 goal is ambitious and still over a decade away from becoming a reality. It’s far from permanent, and it so far affects only a tiny portion of the population. However, the auto industry is changing, and governments worldwide are taking notice in preparation.