The internal-combustion engine will have to be consigned to history if Australia is to reach its target for reducing greenhouse gases, a new report from Siemens Ltd. finds.

Siemens, a leading provider of global technology-based solutions, says only electric vehicles using power generated from renewable sources, or fossil fuels where the carbon is captured and stored, can drive Australia to a 60% cut in greenhouse-gas emissions within 40 years.

“Hybrid cars won't be sufficient to meet the greenhouse-gas targets that have been set,” Siemens energy-expert Michael Bielinski says in introducing the “Picture the Future” report in Melbourne.

“By 2050, our entire road transport fleet must be electric. It's the only way to meet the target.”

In order to reach a 5% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020, the report calls for a A$60 billion ($56 billion) investment by government and the private sector in renewable and low-carbon technologies, such as wind, solar and gas-fired facilities, while simultaneously undertaking aggressive energy-efficiency measures.

Although electricity costs would rise 30% by 2020 as a result, the efficiency savings would see households using 30% less power, meaning no net increase on the average energy bill, Melbourne’s The Age newspaper says.

By 2020, hybrid vehicles will account for more than 20% of new-car sales, the report says. Electric- and hydrogen-powered vehicles will begin to have an influence based on renewable electricity generation, but only will make up 1% of vehicles, Siemens predicts.

By 2030, hybrids will represent 30% of vehicles, with 20% electric- or hydrogen-based, increasing the demand for electricity generation, the report says.

“However, as much of the electricity is produced from renewable technologies, the greenhouse intensity of the road transport fleet is reduced significantly,” the report notes, adding renewables will supply more than 40% of Australia’s electricity by 2030.

“Australians drive about 125 billion miles (200 billion km) a year, reflecting the size of the continent, our continued affection for the motor car and cities that are poorly served by public transport,” the report says. “Hybrid vehicles are a niche technology accounting for less than 0.1% of vehicles.”

Regarding advancing technology of EVs in recent years, Siemens points to last year’s Geneva auto show, where Ruf Automobile GmbH and Siemens presented a Porsche 997 Targa-styled model was converted into an EV known as the eRuf Greenster.

It offered 365 hp and a top speed of 156 mph (250 km/h), boasting high torque and impressive acceleration.

Siemens says the eventual goal is to have networks of charging stations, where EVs quickly can charge their batteries, but also where the batteries are used as a source of backup energy to be sold to the electric grid.

Siemens says its report is the first research in Australia focusing on technology as the enabler for a sustainable future.

It is the culmination of work done in Australia and Germany involving numerous Siemens researchers and a validation process with 22 of Australia’s leading industry bodies.

“We have many enviable opportunities in Australia, such as our abundance of natural resources, and Australia has the potential to be at the forefront of technology,” Siemens Australia Chairman and Managing Director Albert Goller says in a statement.

“I picture a future where Australians use and export clean electricity due to the integration of our electricity grid in Australia and possibly even Southeast Asia.”