The country’s National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA), says the country is amongst the lowest ranked amongst developing countries in terms of electric vehicle (EV) adoption, and has almost no infrastructure to support the technology.
EVs make up just 0.2% of Australia's vehicle market. Neighbouring New Zealand’s EV market share is considerably higher, yet just 3% of vehicles are electric.
EVs are coming, but Australia is not ready said the NRMA. Should Australia fail to take action, it will be a "first world country with a third world fleet", NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury says.
"The countries that build the cars we love are overwhelmingly telling us that they are going to stop building petrol cars, they are going to stop building diesel cars, and that the future is electric."
Bans on conventionally-powered vehicles are set to come into effect for most developed nations anywhere between 2030 and 2040.
The body has suggested that the Australian motor sector should be "more aggressive".
"If we don't start taking steps now we will fall even further behind," Khoury said.
"Our community will suffer, our economy will suffer and the environment will suffer."
Mr Khoury also welcomed the recent announcement by Australia’s Labour Party, that it will set a target of 50% of all new vehicles sold be 2030 being electric by 2030 if the party wins the next federal election..
The NRMA has commenced its own network of charging stations, with 10 chargin points already built, and with 30 more under construction.
"I'm bullish about [electric vehicles] for the jobs, for the local manufacturing opportunities, for the climate impact, and also, I think because it will create technology," says Labor leader Bill Shorten.
"Do we want to be a country stuck in the past? Or a country joining the rest of the world in the future?"
Mr Shorten said the key to achieving the goal was the availability of charging infrastructure.
"One of the problems is there's not enough charging stations," he said.
"[We'll] put a network of charging stations right around Australia and on national highways, so that people can actually seriously contemplate being able to get an electric vehicle."
The country’s prime minister Scott Morrison said his government had already taken steps to improve the growth of electric car sales.
"Labor, as I understand it, are talking about taking in 10 years 0.2 per cent of the [EV] market to 50 per cent," he told reporters in Canberra.
"He needs to explain how he's going to make that happen."
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