Stuck behind a truck last week, deep in a cloud of black exhaust smoke, deafened by grinding gears, I grew envious of nations around the world that are accelerating their take-up of electric vehicles (EVs).
In Europe and the UK, 2030 is the target date to end of sales of new cars powered by fossil fuels.
General Motors and Ford have announced they will no longer make petrol or diesel powered cars in Europe by 2030 and in the US by 2035.
BMW and Volkswagen are ramping up EV models, confident of long-range cheaper options in the next few years.
Meanwhile, back in Australia, a nation scorned increasingly for its blindness to climate change action, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, has released a discussion document titled Future Fuels.
Commentators have labelled it our nation's "Do nothing" strategy on EVs. Read it online and you can see why - and, if you could be bothered, you can make a response by the closing date this Thursday.
Sadly, Australia has the developed world's lowest take-up rate for EVs except for Turkey, Chile and Mexico.
A mere 0.75 per cent of new car sales last year in Australia were EVs.
The world-wide average is five times this rate.
Rarely would a Lower Hunter driver need the 657 kilometres range of, say, a Tesla 3, the world's largest selling EV.
Good reasons are tossed around for our slow take-up. The most common is that Australians drive long distances, beyond the range of an EV.
Yet, consider our neck of the woods. The NSW Household Travel Survey says 1,999,000 trips are made by Lower Hunter residents on a typical weekday - with 85.8 per cent of these trips made by car. The rest are on public transport (only 3.5 per cent), or by cycling or walking.
The average car journey is a short 10.4 kilometres. Rarely would a Lower Hunter driver need the 657 kilometres range of, say, a Tesla 3, the world's largest selling EV. On a long road trip, a 15-minute re-charge (over a coffee), pushes the range of this EV to almost 1000 kilometres.
The problem for Australia, of course, is that we don't have, as yet, the charging stations in the right places to give people confidence they won't get stuck somewhere awkward with a flat battery.
So what's the attraction?
Upfront, a shift to EVs has the potential to attack greenhouse emissions coming from the transport sector, currently responsible for around 20 per cent of the nation's CO2 outpouring. However, to get the full benefit of reduced CO2 emissions, an EV battery needs to be charged from renewable sources, not from coal- or gas-fuelled power stations.
Then, an EV could be a sexy thing. Imagine owning a Tesla 3 with running costs pretty close to zero because you've got a roof full of solar panels and a garage where you can install your charging device.
The current model, according to Tesla's web site, could take you down the M1 hands free, safely overtaking and changing lanes. It will obey traffic lights, park itself and even come to find you when summoned from its spot in a car park.
For an additional $10,000, you'll get computing capacity ready for when regulators say yes to full-on self-driving.
All sexy stuff, sure, but it's a package well beyond an average household, a status product, a plaything for the well-off, while the rest of the population trundles around in gas guzzlers, and the world sizzles.
The lesson here is that we need government to lead on transport electrification.
With EVs and self-drive technologies, we can evolve our roads into an efficient public transport system. Self-driving electric buses could take people to work and school.
Smaller driverless vehicles could turn up at your door like taxis, for all those short individualised journeys, or to get you to a high-frequency bus stop.
All these vehicles could be charged from renewables supplied to the grid.
Magically, we could have a transport system that makes the personal car redundant, a revolution that re-charges our road networks and strips away noise, air pollution, congestion costs, immobility for the young and the old, waiting at bus stops for eternities, and so on.
But, like a road block, we have a federal government that wants little to do with EVs.
Still, there's a solution for this.