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Gasoline price shock to charge the future of electric vehicles | Canberra time

commentary, editorial,

Quick action is often driven by steep and sudden price increases. The two-dollar-a-litre petrol in Canberra is an important psychological threshold that will no doubt cause motorists to reflect on the way they drive. With rising cost-of-living pressures on a range of essentials – and a significant period of little or no wage growth – a rapid rise in the price of gasoline is deeply felt. People need to move. They have to go to work and to school. Many people will find that the number of miles they need to travel is fixed and not determined by the price of the fuel they use to do so. The question is whether they should do it in a gas-powered car. Could public transport or an electric vehicle play a bigger role? Canberan residents already lead the country in terms of the number of electric vehicles purchased per capita. Motorists in the capital bought 825 new electric cars last year, according to figures from the Electric Vehicle Council. They accounted for more than 5% of all vehicle sales in the territory. With cheap electricity readily available, offset to be fully renewable in the ACT, the case for an electric vehicle looks even better. Exogenous global shocks – such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine – that drive up global oil prices and directly impact the price at the pump will continue to occur. Oil resources are limited. In the long term, its cost can only increase. Without forgetting that it is a resource which it is better not to use. Transport emissions are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the ACT. Reducing these emissions is an essential task for the city. The growing interest in electric cars, spurred by the rising costs of running an old-fashioned internal combustion engine, is something to be welcomed. But it is unfortunate that the federal government dithered on the issue of electric vehicles, when it was able to promote and support their adoption. When the story of EV adoption is written, the missed opportunities in Australia will be front and center. Tuesday’s budget gives the federal government an opportunity to make up for lost time. Instead of canceling the weekend, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested electric cars would, technology could save the weekend, freeing people from the prohibitive cost of petrol. The future of the internal combustion engine is limited. Globally, hard deadlines are fast approaching, by which time no new fossil-fuel cars will be sold. Australia’s federal government must step up a gear to ensure the country is not left by the wayside on the future of transport.