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19 June


Japan’s proposed gasoline car ban will be disastrous for Australia

Japanese automakers for now are keeping quiet on what impact those measures could have on their businesses

Photo: revoi

/NOVOSTIVL/ Over the past 24 hours, reports have surfaced that suggest the Asian nation will ban the sale of new gasoline vehicles by the mid-2030s, Reuters reports.

According to reports, public broadcaster NHK broke the news yesterday, which follow as part of prime minister Yoshidie Suga’s plans for Japan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The move would make Japan the second G7 nation, alongside the United Kingdom, to set a date for outlawing CO2 emitting vehicles.

Not that long ago, the UK formally announced that it will ban the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles from 2030, which is 10 years earlier than it originally planned.

It brought the ban forward after climate change campaigners and analysis suggested it was necessary if the country is to meet net zero targets set for 2050.

The UK and Japan are the world’s two leading car-producing nations which drive on the left and primarily use right-hand drive vehicles.

Japan following suit with the UK is very good news for the British vehicle market, as it helps increase demand and put pressure on car markets to build right-hand drive electric cars.

However, it’s not good news for all. Analyst Eytan Lenko, of Australian sustainable energy research firm Beyond Zero Emissions, has pointed out that this could be the beginning of a headache for Australia.

Not sure who is planning on making right-hand drive petrol cars after 2035 when both Japan and the UK have banned them. Australia might end up like Cuba if we don’t get on with it! https://t.co/jPSsSpaW4G

— Eytan Lenko (@eytanlenko) December 3, 2020

With the UK and Japan no longer needing right-hand drive gasoline vehicles, it begs the question of who is going to make them for Australia when it doesn’t actually make its own cars anymore.

South Africa drives on the left, and is where a number of big name brands, like Ford, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz build their vehicles. However, just because a car is built in a right-hand drive country doesn’t mean it only produces right-hand drive cars. But SA might be a lifeline.

Ultimately, the key dynamic here is demand. Within the next 15 years, with the UK and Japan banning gasoline cars, demand for right-hand drive petrol vehicles will drop significantly.

As a country unable to make its own vehicles, Australia is at the mercy of carmakers forging ahead to support the changing British and Japanese markets with EVs.

It leaves Australia with few options but to get on board with the switch to EVs or risk being left behind driving dirty cars from the past, like Cuba.