More than three decades after the first cars in Australia were electrified, the country’s supercars are already on their way to an electric drivetrain.
The new system, known as Plug-In 2025, is expected to bring about the end of the industry’s reliance on fossil fuel for power generation.
It is due to be rolled out in 2019.
A new hybrid system is being developed to be fitted to a range of existing cars and SUVs to reduce the use of gas.
Electric cars, meanwhile, are expected to see a rise in their share of Australian sales.
Renault said last week it was expanding its hybrid electric range to 60,000 vehicles by 2021.
But it has not announced an exact number.
Hybrids accounted for 13 per cent of sales in Australia in 2017.
In Britain, hybrid cars have become the biggest selling category in the UK’s luxury market, with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne both being the most popular models.
Its sales are growing, too, with Tesla Motors now making more than half of its cars in Britain and China.
Despite a drop in the price of electric cars, the industry is facing growing opposition.
Opposition to the technology is largely due to the fact that it uses electricity generated by fossil fuels.
Some manufacturers argue that it would increase greenhouse gas emissions and potentially increase the risk of a global climate change catastrophe.
Even so, a majority of Australian politicians have endorsed the industry.
Australia’s opposition is strongest to the battery technology, and it has the backing of a majority in the upper house.
“It is vital that Australians have access to clean, reliable and environmentally friendly electric vehicles to protect our environment, economy and way of life,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
Liberal MP Andrew Leigh called it “a milestone in Australia’s automotive history”.
“Australia’s car industry has been transformed since plug-in cars came into widespread use and we are proud to be the first country in the world to introduce plug-ins to our roads,” he said.
However, Labor and the Greens have warned against the battery system.
Green MP Ian Macdonald said: “We have the highest electricity bills in the developed world.
The electricity companies are still charging us billions of dollars to do nothing.”
Liberal Senator Nick Xenophon said the “unbelievable” cost of the hybrid electric car.
He said it would have been “invented in Australia” but was “nowhere near” being commercially viable.
Meanwhile, the Australian Automobile Association has raised concerns that plug-IN 2025 will cause an increase in the number of car accidents.
If the battery is not electrified before 2019, there will be a “significant increase in vehicle deaths, serious injuries, and property damage”.
The AAA said it has also raised concerns about how the technology will be tested and deployed in Australia.
There will be no immediate plans for a nationwide rollout of the system.