Canberra Is the First City to Ban Petrol Cars — What Does It Mean for the Future of EVs?

Petrol: While it’s great at getting teenage delinquents high, it’s terrible for the environment. I know this, you know this, even the people paid to promote this stuff probably deep down know this. There’s no doubt that if we continue to be so reliant on petrol, then the cast of The Penguins of Madagascar might never get a sequel.

But fortunately for planet earth, the ACT’s government is doing something about this issue. Here’s what these folks are doing to cut down on our country’s constant use of petrol: 

Canberra is Banning New Petrol Cars

In 2035, no brand new cars with internal combustion engines will be sold in Canberra. That’s right, the ACT government is banning them. This is just one component of its Zero Emissions Vehicles Strategy. According to the ACT Emissions Reduction Minister, Shane Rattenbury, “The next decade will see major shifts in vehicle technology, price and availability. I want the ACT to be at the forefront of this positive change.”

But back to the petrol ban. As per the ABC, Rattenbury has on the record as saying, “This 2035 goal is about being really clear that from that date we don’t intend for any new petrol vehicles to come onto the market.” He also stated, “We’re about setting an early message now, being clear about where things are going and giving people time to organise the transition.”

Now, when this ban does go ahead, what sort of vehicles will be sold in Canberra? Will everyone there take up penny-farthings? Nitrous-powered swivel chairs? Probably for the best, no. The ACT is banking on the fact that this move will force everyone to buy EVs.

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Can Canberra Pull This EV Revolution Off?

If the ACT’s government makes this plan a reality, then there’s no doubt that there could be a huge uptick in folks buying EVs. Nevertheless, there are some huge hurdles that these politicians will have to jump over. First being, there just aren’t enough EVs in Australia. Moreover, if a 2035 Canberran really wants a petrol-powered car, what will stop them from taking a very short trip into NSW to buy one?

It’s worth noting though that there is hope for the EV market. On July 15, The Age reported that the Federal government has jumped into a legal battle against Victoria’s contentious electric vehicle tax. Additionally, as Carsales has detailed, every Aussie state and territory currently has some sort of EV incentive infrastructure in place. All of these facts demonstrate that a legitimately greener future might be just around the corner. 

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