Electric Vehicle Council of Australia calls for EV acceleration; Volvo steps up

by Nov 4, 2022

Australia has seen a slow trajectory when it comes to increasing their electric vehicle fleet in past years. If examined amongst regional counterparts such as New Zealand, Australia has been reluctant on wholeheartedly accepting climate change as an issue, and, more importantly, understanding the gravity and need of converting transportation to zero-emission for the sake of the environment, even though the region, particularly in the last couple of years, has experienced these very environmental disasters in the form of bush fires.

However, with the recent change in political leadership, Australia is trying to make amends and catch up to other countries in the race towards electrification. More than 100 companies operating in Australia, including automotive manufacturers, have formed the new Electric Vehicle Council, aimed at forming a private sector electric vehicle alliance. This newly formed entity has one demand – a strong national electric vehicle strategy. The strategy that has been envisioned calls for over 1,000,000 electric vehicles on the road in Australia by 2027.

The formation of this alliance coincides with the next step the federal government is planning to take in order to move forward on Australia’s existing Electric Vehicle Strategy previously put in place.

The alliance of more than 100 companies is now calling for, among other things, strict fuel efficiency standards like those in New Zealand, the USA and in Europe, investment in electric vehicle manufacturing through an auto industry development plan, a coordinated approach to expanding the charging network and support for more electric buses, trucks and commercial vehicles.

Some of the prominent representatives of the newly created private sector alliance called the Electric Vehicle Council are BMW, BYD, Sixt, Hertz, IKEA, Microsoft, Woolworths, the Heavy Vehicle Industry Association and the National Roads and Motorists’ Association.

In lieu of this, Volvo Cars has also released its very own commitment in Australia. The Automotive giant has stated plans to go all electric in Australia from 2026 onwards, meaning that only electric cars will be offered in Australia, and that no new combustion models will be introduced in Australia either.

This deadline is interestingly planned 4 years earlier compared to Volvo’s carbon neutrality plans for the rest of the world, and the statement itself seems ambitious to say the least, considering that the manufacturer has two electric models present within Australian markets till date.

However, three more electric models are expected to be announced and released in Australia by 2026. These models include the EX90, a compact electric SUV, and an electric sedan. Volvo Australia’s goal is to sell 20,000 all-electric cars per year in the future. To support sales and service, all Volvo dealers in Australia are to receive DC chargers with at least 75 kW power.

In Europe, Volvo Cars has already stopped selling combustion-only cars in two countries: In Norway and Denmark, the manufacturer reportedly already only offers electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

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