The all-electric Big Lap … it’s not if, it’s just when!

Published: July 16, 2021

For those grey nomads wondering when the Big Lap might become an all-electric affair, the answer is … sooner than you think!

And it’s not just ever-fluctuating fuel prices that could push consumers to demand more affordable access to non-petrol vehicles and more widespread availability of charging stations.

In a bold statement of intent, the European Union has just unveiled a hugely ambitious plan to fight climate change … and it wants to see an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

According to one of a dozen ambitious climate draft laws, emissions from motor vehicles must fall by 55% by 2030 and drop to zero by 2035.

“As a result, all new cars registered as of 2035 will be zero-emission,” the statement announcing the plan said.

This would in practice mean that all cars and light vans sold from that date would be battery-powered electric cars, which currently represent less than 10% of new registrations in the EU.

It is expected the move will be fiercely opposed by some in the industry lobby though, and there is caution among member states like France, Germany, Spain and Italy which have a large sectors manufacturing traditional combustion engine vehicles and hybrids.

There are also fears that motorists will see fuel prices rising as a result of carbon levies as they are pushed to sell their gas-guzzlers and buy new electric cars.

However, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen insists the transition is vital.

“We see that people want these developments, there’s been a huge increase in the numbers signing up for electric vehicles,” she said, arguing that the US market has tripled over the past year.

Battery-powered cars represented 8% of new registrations in western Europe in the first five months of this year, with 356,000 new vehicles. That’s more were sold than in all of 2019.

Australia though remain significantly behind most other developed nations in the take-up of electric vehicles. However, it may well be that developments elsewhere may force a change in approach.

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1 year ago

Rather than getting stuck into the easy target ie cars, perhaps EU could lean on the real culprits regarding emissions- China & India.. Too hard?

Helen Stransky
1 year ago
Reply to  AlanP

I totally agree. Where does anyone think all the batteries are going to have to come from and the short life span they have and so where are these batteries going to go? What resources are going to have to go into making these disposable items in the first place? Never know they may all go up in fire anyway waiting for it to recharge so problem gone.

joseph Elias
1 year ago

My concern regarding EV’s is their battery quality, time it takes to recharge, emergency recharging (away from charging stations) and the environmental devastation when these toxic batteries need to be exposed. Recycling appears to be a challenge so who has thought all these issues through? Battery safety such as creating a fire hazard is also a serious topic.

1 year ago

All this go called green technology is actually FAR WORSE for the environment
Cars motorcycles trucks earthmoving boats everything are so overloaded with more and more components eg DPF, EGR which all take reasources and energy to manufacture and it is another component that fails and gets binned
And more and more chemicals are used in the vehicles, adblue
Vehicles of yesteryear were so simple and reliable. Now a days they are big mountains of minerals and reasources.
A new vehicle with all the extra components to manufacture and decommission is not cleaner than an older vehicle with far far less bits and pieces that runs clean.

James Lindsay
1 year ago

In a Caravan park booking office in the near future
Hi do you have a de-fib, now how much for a powered site
Just grab your de-fib of the wall

1 year ago

Great for the environment…until the batteries need to be disposed of. Hopefully by that time technology will have improved to recycle the heavy metals involved. Otherwise, we’re in for a heap more toxic waste. (Did I dare to mention how we generate the electricity to recharge the batteries during the vehicle’s working life?) There’s a lot to think about before we get too carried away with the excitement of alternatives to fossil fuels.

Chris Thaler
1 year ago
Reply to  Vulcan

Catch up Vulcan, the lithium, NiMh and other minerals are all easily and cleanly recycled in Australia. The plastics take a little bit of innovation to properly sort prior to recycling into say, roadside sign posts & etc.

1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Thaler

Thanks for the comments, Chris, but here’s the facts (yes, lifted from a website!) on recycling lithium.
“Pyrometallurgical processing of spent LIBs can efficiently recover nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese from LIBs but not the lithium. Nor does pyrometallurgical processing recover graphite from LIBs. Moreover, volatilisation of the complex polymers in LIB binders and separators presents an atmospheric emission risk.”
I’m sure we will advance the technology to do this, but we currently don’t have that.

Neil Death
1 year ago

How far will it go, Off road, dirt road, what about river crossings. Electricity and water do not mix?? Who is going to pay for road repairs, road tax???? We burn coal to power these vehicles so what then.

Ted Samuels
1 year ago

going to be interesting on a Simson Desert or a Gunbarrel trip hope they have a BLOODY long extension lead

Chris Thaler
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Samuels

Recent release from Ford USA. They are building Ford F150/250 all electric, 500 ‘Mile’ range with a usable towing capacity. Price in USA starts at $39,000 USD. My two previous effies’ although 1 was petrol were absolute dreams to tow with.

Keith W Jarrett
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Thaler

Great idea but where is the charging grid to cover Australia and how is the power generated? We won’t go nuclear which is the only viable generation apart from Gas and Coal the so called renewables will require just that in a short time then what? It’s all an ideological dream!

1 year ago

Haven’t you heard Australia, because E.V’s are useless is going the Hydrogen Route, same time to refuel as diesel and can be produced without the use of fossil fuel power stations!

don folbigg
1 year ago

and yet toyota have publicly stated that they aren’t going down the all electric path , all to do with the present and future recharging availability and elapsed time to recharge , very confusing

Stephen Purchase
1 year ago
Reply to  don folbigg

They also said years ago they would never get V8 motors . Now they do. Go figure.

Shane Collins
1 year ago

Nuclear fusion is not that far away(check out iter project) then there will be unlimited, cheap emissions free power that will change the world.

1 year ago

Good topic to yarn about over a beer and good company however, when all said and done, whatever direction is taken won’t effect most grey nomads.Early days. My grandfather’s transportation was on horseback.


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