Investing on active travel, not EVs, would be the real JUST transition

20 Feb 24 | By pp-admin | Media release, News Wheel

Pedal Power’s submission to the ACT Government’s inquiry into climate change and a just transition argues that the funds allocated to EVs subsidies would be better spent on active travel.

“While EVs are an important part of countering climate change, they are not the most effective and fast solution,” says Pedal Power Executive Director Simon Copland. “EVs are still responsible for substantial carbon emissions, especially during production, still require all the large-scale, car-centred infrastructure any other car needs and they are only accessible to a minority of the population, as their cost remains high, even after subsidies.”

“Bikes, on the other hand, are financially accessible to many more people and research shows that excellent cycling infrastructure dramatically increases the number of people using bikes as their prime mode of transport.”

“Cycling is an extremely low-emission transport option. Comparing the life cycle of each travel mode and taking into account the carbon generated from making a vehicle, fuelling it, and disposing of it, emissions from cycling can be more than 30 times lower for each trip than driving an ICE vehicle and about ten times lower than driving an EV.”

More people on bikes, would also attract other important benefits related to the physical and mental health of cyclists and the mental health and safety of motorists, who would have to share the road with less cars.

In its submission, Pedal Power makes several recommendations. These include requesting a government briefing on the expected length of the transition from ICE vehicles to EVs, with a view of possibly issuing no new EV subsidies.

“We also urge the ACT Government to commit to no more road duplications or additional lanes, as these do not work to bust congestion and instead increase emissions instead. We instead call on the Government to recognise the crucial role cycling plays in the decarbonisation of transport and to establish clear budgets and timelines for its Active Travel Plan, as soon as possible” says Copland.