Electric vehicles could prevent up to 2,000 deaths and save 41 megatons of CO2e, if Australian Labor’s 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target for 2030 were to be complemented with a 50 per cent electric vehicle sales target. Motor vehicle emissions are estimated to have caused more than 1,715 deaths in 2015, with that number rising each year as the average petrol- and diesel-powered vehicle in Australia fails to become more efficient. “Pollution from road vehicles causes on average five deaths every day in Australia. That’s more than the number of lives taken in vehicle crashes,” said Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari. “We can save thousands of lives every year if our Federal Government does what has been painfully obvious everywhere else in the world and puts in place a national plan to support electric vehicles. “The era of the internal combustion engine is coming to an end, and for the sake of Australian’s health and wellbeing, it can’t come soon enough. “Electric vehicles powered by renewable energy produce zero emissions. For this and many other reasons, the electrification of road transport has been embraced by the governments of all our major trading partners. “Unfortunately, while the Australian electric vehicle industry is full of recognised global leaders, the lack of direction from our government has made Australia itself a global laggard. “I welcome Bill Shorten’s commitment to a 50 per cent renewable energy target and urge him to complement that with a similar target for electric vehicles sales by 2030. “Electric vehicles present Australia with many opportunities, from clean air to new investment and jobs, but these can’t be taken for granted. We need a national plan to put Australia at the forefront of transport electrification,” Mr Jafari said.