The federal government's new 2030 emissions projection is based on an uptake of electric cars that far exceeds the target Scott Morrison said would "end the weekend" when proposed by Labor at the last election, its internal modelling shows.
The share of EV sales predicted under modelling for the government's new projection - 61 per cent by 2030 - is also more than double the proportion flagged in the Coalition's electric vehicle strategy published last week.
The figures cast doubt over the government's concrete claim emissions will drop 35 per cent by 2030, allowing it to easily beat its official target.
But the government remains confident it will meet its latest emissions projection based on its past record.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison resisted pressure to increase the Coalition's official 2030 target of cutting emissions 26 to 28 per below 2005 levels at the Glasgow climate summit, choosing instead to announce the new projection.
The government modelled two scenarios for its projection; a "baseline" which would achieve a 30 per cent reduction and a "high technology" scenario which would see emissions fall 35 per cent.
Mr Morrison has stated definitively that a 35 per cent reduction would be achieved, as he continues to rule out raising the government's official 2030 target even after Australia signed an agreement in Glasgow which asked countries to return next year with more ambitious goals.
Mr Morrison has made the unqualified declaration about the 2030 projection both at the climate summit and since returning to Australia, despite the government's own modelling showing that the 35 per cent figure comes with major caveats.
For example, the scenario assumes the Morrison government meets its "stretch goals" for low-emissions technologies, including bringing the cost of clean hydrogen under $2 per kilogram and slashing the price of solar.
The "high technology" scenario under which the 35 per cent target could be achieved also predicted an influx of electric vehicles on Australia's roads, at a pace and scale well beyond what Mr Morrison or Mr Taylor have publicly canvassed.
Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids would account for 61 per cent of new cars sold in 2030 under the ambitious scenario, according to Industry Department figures published alongside the government's net zero roadmap late last month.
That figure is higher than what was envisaged under the policy Bill Shorten and Labor took to the 2019 election, which had a target of half of new cars sold in 2030 being electric.
Mr Morrison and his senior colleagues relentlessly attacked Labor's proposal during the election campaign, claiming it would "end the weekend" by forcing Australians to ditch their petrol-powered 4WDs.
Labor and the Coalition have both ruled out taking electric car sales targets to the next election.
Unveiling the Coalition's new electric car strategy last week, Mr Morrison claimed he had never campaigned against the technology - only Mr Shorten's policies.
The claim prompted Labor to accuse Mr Morrison of lying.
The projection for EV car sales outlined in the "high technology" scenario was also more than double the number included in the strategy which Morrison announced last week.
The government's plan estimated electric cars would account for just 30 per cent of new car sales in 2030, translating to about 1.7 million zero-emissions vehicles on Australia's roads by the end of the decade.
The 30 per cent figure was included in the department's projection - but it was for the "baseline scenario" under which emissions were projected to fall by only 30 per cent on 2005 levels.
That means the government's own policies do not align with Mr Morrison's firm claim that emissions will fall 35 per cent by the end of the decade.
The "high technology" scenario also predicts a far quicker switch from petrol and diesel-powered cars, projecting that electric cars would make up a massive 27 per cent of sales in 2025.
That's up from fewer than 1 per cent in 2019.
The Canberra Times asked Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor a series of questions about the document, including how the government could claim that it would meet its 35 per cent target if its own policies didn't align with the "high technology" scenario.
A spokesman reiterated that the government projections had made clear that two scenarios had been modelled.
It was confirmed that the the policies in the new electric car strategy were included in the "baseline scenario" - which predicts a 30 per cent emissions cut.
But the government remains confident it will meet its new projections, pointing to its record of having already cut emissions by more than 20 per cent on 2005 levels.
The government's $250 million electric vehicle strategy focuses on partnering with the private sector to build the infrastructure - in particular charging stations - needed to support a major influx of zero-emissions cars on Australia's roads.
The Coalition's plan defied calls to use taxpayer-funded subsidies to reduce the upfront cost of electric vehicles, introduce new emissions standards or set an end date for the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles.