Come 2035 the UK will no longer allow sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles. And this is not a sudden ban. It was already going to happen in 2040 but now the Boris Johnson-led government has bought it forward.

The policy was unveiled last night as part of a launch event for the COP 26 summit to be held in Glasgow in November. The British prime minister hinted the ban may even come in sooner if possible.


‘We have no policy in place for EVs’

Meanwhile, Australia is lagging behind having less electric cars on our roads than New Zealand even though we have seven times as many cars. Only 5,000 EVs were sold in Oz last year.

Behyad Jafari, CEO of Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council, told Stockhead Australia could take a leaf out of Britain’s book.

“When you set these targets, public and private investment follows — through lower price electric vehicles or public transport and more charging infrastructure,” he said.

“Britain realised they can do this five years earlier and it’s as early as possible, but no later than 2035. It is possible to do [in Australia], all we need is the government to act but we have no policy in place for electric vehicles.

“We know this is going to happen so we have to ask ourselves: ‘do we accelerate and create an opportunity or do we let this happen to everyone else first and we’ll take the leftovers?”

While plenty of conventional car makers are getting into the EV space, few are reaching Australia. Seventy per cent of electric vehicles in Australia were Teslas.

Jafari believes more carmakers will enter the Australian market when they see the economy is behind them.

“We need some level of regulation to encourage uptake,” he said. “There are lower priced EVs but few are allocated to Australia, they’re being reallocated to more encouraging markets.

“Their ambition is to scale their investments and when they see such targets they have that certainty.”

READ MORE: Why is Australia lagging on electric vehicles and when will we catch up?