This week the UK government followed France in announcing it would ban the sale of such vehicles by 2040, while the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens plan to banish diesels from their city centres by 2025.

But the electric charge also extends to vans and trucks, and the need to switch to cleaner engines is even greater given that these larger vehicles are far bigger polluters than cars.

Even in a country with wide open spaces like Australia, the electric wave is rolling out.

Melbourne-based logistics firm Kings Transport recently bought nine electric vans and light trucks from SEA Automotive.

"The components are cheaper every time we go to buy," he explains.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that keeping global temperature rises below 2C by the end of the century will in part depend on the electrification of some 600 million vehicles worldwide.

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