Volvo’s move to EV production could make Australia market leader

Volvo Australia’s shock announcement last week that it will phase out all petrol-powered vehicles by 2026 could be enough to make Australia a world leader in the transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs).

The announcement comes just as the Albanese government proposes an “electric car discount” that would see EVs reduced by thousands and only weeks after Volvo unveiled its first ever purely electric vehicle available in Australia, the C40 Recharge.

Now, four years ahead of its global commitment, Volvo’s pledge to fully transition to EV-only production in just three years sends a powerful message to the industry, says Behyad Jafai, Chief Executive at the Electric Vehicle Council.

“Australia has been slow out of the blocks, but this announcement from Volvo shows we still have the potential to be a world leader in the transition to electric vehicles.

“This is a truly remarkable announcement from Volvo. It shows they appreciate the momentum for EVs building in the Australian market and they see the opportunities in meeting the demand,” he says.

Coming in third, after Polestar and Tesla, on the Climate Council’s Race to Zero Raking of car manufacturers in Australia, Volvo says it’s aiming to sell 200,000 EVs in Australia every year.

Dr Jennifer Rayner, Head of Advocacy at the Climate Council, says: “Australians want cheaper and cleaner transport options, as demand for EVs skyrockets. Australia needs policies that lean into this momentum, not policies that put the brakes on so a few lagging companies can catch up. 

“Many major manufacturers know that all-electric is the way to go. Implementing strong fuel efficiency standards would ensure 100 per cent of new vehicles sold be zero emissions by the middle of next decade,” she says. 

A sentiment with which The Electric Vehicle Council are fully on board. The organisation is currently campaigning, along with Volvo and other top car manufacturers, for the Federal Government to adopt a more robust EV policy, something that’s been lacking for a long time, according to Jafai. 

“Most Australians now want an electric car – the problem is a lack of supply and a lack of choice. Having Volvo plug part of this gap will make a significant difference,” he says. 

“As Volvo has said… there’s no future for cars with an internal combustion engine. Australian policy makers need to internalise that fact and we need the new National Electric Vehicle Strategy to reflect it.

“The market is clearly ready to accelerate the electrification of Australia’s fleet. Our state and federal governments should be doing everything they can to support this momentum,” he says.

Jafai says a move toward higher EV uptake, supported by strong government policy, has the potential to rapidly reduce pollution, shrink Australia’s carbon footprint and end dependence on foreign oil.

Volvo gets it, our leaders should get it too,” he concludes. 

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