Bank Australia has announced plans to stop funding loans for new gas and diesel cars in 2025, explaining it will continue funding only loans for electric vehicles (EVs).
The bank issued a statement saying it is the "responsible thing" to do and that it wants to ensure vehicle lending "doesn't lock our customers in to higher carbon emissions and increasingly expensive running costs in the years ahead." The statement also encourages its customers to "think seriously" about purchasing an electric vehicle – "both for its impact on the climate and for its lifetime cost savings."
Scott Shepard of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research says no American should roll their eyes at this.
"We can absolutely expect to see this come here," he warns, "and we've got to fight it with all the power that we've got – and that includes legislation. We on the right are not used to legislating corporations to keep them in their lanes, but now is the time to start doing that."
Having set a target date of 2035 to achieve net-zero emissions, Bank Australia plans to still offer loans for second-hand gas-powered cars "until there is a viable and thriving market" for EVs. "We need to support people not yet able to afford an electric vehicle while the market grows," said the official statement from the bank.
As Shepard's organization points out, EVs are disproportionately purchased by "the well-heeled."
EVs currently represent about 2% of the Australian market for all cars. Tesla accounted for more than half of all EVs sold there last year.
A warning …
According to Fox News' Stuart Varney, Tesla owns an even larger share (~70%) of the EV market in the U.S. – and that American automakers are clearly "chasing Tesla" in hopes of getting their own market share. For example, Ford Motor Company announced this week it is cutting thousands of jobs as a way to slash costs as it transitions from combustion-engine vehicles to electric vehicles.
"Everybody's doing it. You're going to see the same kind of transition all through the entire auto industry," Varney predicts.
But while he recognizes it will generate "good private-industry competition" to get the new products to market, Varney also warns it's clear that the federal government – via mandates – is trying to force the private sector onto its green-energy agenda.
"They're trying to push us all towards electric vehicles, and they're insisting that we go there … and they're winning," he observes.