Thursday, November 20, 2008

We need electric cars and we need them now

The Australian car industry is going the way of the American one - a headlong rush to extinction. With long term rises in oil prices inevitable, the days of large petrol and diesel powered vehicles are numbered.

Cars with electric drive trains produce 30% less carbon emissions than those powered by internal combustion engines - even taking into account the emissions from coal fired power stations to generate the electricity. They can also transition to being supplied by zero emissions electricity as supplies come on line. Plug in hybrids would be suitable for those requiring a longer range.

Yet, no major Australian manufacturer yet makes an electric car that would be suitable for the majority of short trips made every day in the city. There are less than 300 electric vehicles on Australian roads right now. Unfortunately, the $6.2 billion allocated by the Australian government to make the automotive industry more economically and environmentally sustainable is still focused on tinkering with making internal combustion engines more efficient and hybrids that still require petrol to operate.

This is a missed opportunity. We need electric cars to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions, and we need them now.



Anonymous said...

The Australian car industry is going the way of the American one - a headlong rush to extinction

Indeed. We need 'economic euthanasia'.

What a bloody big waste of money the $6.2 million subsidies are. I could think of ten rail projects that could be spent with that money already.

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