Electric vehicles in Australia’s eastern states are responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than regular petrol vehicles, according to an expert report that warns Labor’s green cars policy would require up to $7 billion in upgrades and installation of recharging infrastructure across the nation.
A pre-election briefing obtained by The Australian, which was prepared by engineering firm ABMARC, concedes the immediate benefit of electric vehicles in Australia “is not guaranteed”. It also states Bill Shorten’s electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030 would need between $5bn and $7bn in recharging infrastructure and additional investment in “switchboards, transformers and poles and wires”.
“Installing this level of charging infrastructure would require a significant increase in the rate of investment in recharging infrastructure,” the report says.
The report, released to stakeholders in May, also provides a breakdown comparing average CO2 emissions of hybrid, petrol, diesel and electric vehicles in Australia.
ABMARC, which is used by government departments, motoring firms and major energy companies, reveals “CO2 emissions from electric vehicles in Victoria are particularly high, similar to the average diesel CO2 emissions”.
On average, in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Queensland, petrol vehicles “provide less CO2 than electric vehicles”, with ABMARC linking the emissions disparity with “Australia’s continued reliance on coal-fired power stations”. The consultancy firm also notes that the Australian Average Diesel emissions data was “heavily skewed by light commercial vehicles (utes) and larger SUVs”.
The report says hybrid vehicles “provide greater environmental benefits in nearly all states and territories” than electric vehicles with the exception of Tasmania, which primarily uses hydro-electricity.
The ABMARC analysis also unravels the argument for Australia to replicate Norway’s electric car market, which imposes heavy taxes on passenger vehicles and provides generous incentives for EVs.
Pro-electric-vehicle groups and the Greens, who want 100 per cent of new car sales to be electric by 2030, use Norway, Denmark, Ireland and The Netherlands as models for supporting electric vehicle uptake.
As a result of Norway’s pro-EV policies, the ABMARC report shows the cost of a Hyundai i30 in the Scandinavian country is $54,204 compared with $18,498 in Australia.