Australia, India at risk of becoming dumping grounds for polluting cars

NEW DELHI: Nations slow to adopt electric vehicles are likely to end up with a glut of used gasoline cars if they fail to accelerate the shift to electrification, according to a report by London-based think-tank Carbon Tracker.

With China, North America and Europe phasing out internal combustion engine vehicles, automakers may resort to selling older, polluting models in Africa, Asia and South America, Ben Scott, senior automotive analyst at Carbon Tracker, wrote in the report released today.

Countries with weak or no targets to decarbonise cars include India, Australia, Turkey, Russia and South Africa, according to the report. Many won’t be able to import second-hand EVs from places where the push to recycle materials for battery production is gaining momentum.

The financial burden of imports on developing nations will also get worse without clear goals to end sales of gasoline vehicles, Scott said.

African countries spend US$80 billion a year on importing transport fuels, accounting for 2.5% of its gross domestic product, according to the report, which said the continent, Asia and South America could save over US$100 billion combined a year on fuel imports and reduce trade deficits through policies that aid EV adoption.

Governments should incentivise the shift with policies such as import bans and age restrictions on used cars, emission limits and the removal of tariffs on EVs. Increasing domestic production and recycling of EVs are also crucial steps to cut transport emissions.

For developing markets, accelerating the switch to battery-powered vehicles will open up economic opportunities ranging from mineral mining and manufacturing to sales, infrastructure and recycling, according to the report.
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