An Australian bank is encouraging drivers to switch to EVs by refusing to offer loans for the purchase of ICE vehicles after 2025.
Bank Australia, which is owned by its 185,000 customers, said it would no longer lend people money to buy new combustion-engined cars, trucks and SUVs because it doesn’t want to “lock our customers into higher carbon emissions and increasingly expensive running costs.”
But the bank conceded it would still offer loans for second-hand ICE-powered machines because it realized that not everyone could afford a new EV. Which hopefully means delivery-mileage Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and BMW M cars should still be fair game (even if the police using them isn’t).
“Our announcement today is the beginning of a conversation with our customers and a signal to the wider market that if you’re considering buying a new car you should think seriously about an electric vehicle, both for its impact on the climate and for its lifetime cost savings,” said Sasha Courville, Bank Australia’s chief impact officer, per Fox Business.
Related: ACT Becomes First Australian State To Ban Sales Of New Gasoline And Diesel Vehicles From 2035
“We’ve chosen 2025 because the change to electric vehicles needs to happen quickly and we believe it can with the right supporting policies in place to bring a greater range of more affordable electric vehicles to Australia,” Courville added.
Australians have been reluctant to make the switch to EVs, though sales are growing. Only 20,665 electric cars were sold in Australia last year, equivalent to just 2 percent of the new car market. That compares with 9 percent globally. Of electric cars that were sold in the country, Tesla’s Model 3 was by far the most popular, accounting for over 12,000 sales.
The Australian government has also been slow to introduce the kinds of fuel efficiency and emissions standards that are commonplace in other developed markets, a situation that the Australia Institute says has cost drivers $5.9 billion AUS ($4.1 billion) in unnecessary fuel use. But sales of new gasoline and diesel cars have now been banned in the country’s capital from 2035.
Carmakers themselves came under fire in Australia earlier this month when the Sydney Morning Herald uncovered a lobbying campaign by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries trade body to back weaker emissions targets. The FCAI, which represents almost 40 brands, wanted carmakers to set voluntary emissions limits, rather than be forced to meet tougher government-set targets.