The Albanese Government has released its initial National Electric Vehicle Strategy –Australia’s first strategy for cleaning up our vehicle fleet, however while it speaks extensively to the light vehicle fleet, it has no detail or reference to commercial vehicle efficiency.
The government claims it is a comprehensive roadmap to ensure Australians have a better choice of electric vehicles, and encourage greater use of cleaner, cheaper-to-run vehicles and says that it is part of its strategy and has been developed following extensive public consultation.
The government says initially it will introduce a Fuel Efficiency Standard, working with industry and the community to finalise details in coming months.
Fuel efficiency standards are standards which outline how much pollution, or specifically, carbon dioxide, that a vehicle will produce when it’s running.
The government says that more efficient vehicles will produce fewer emissions, meaning that the environmental impact is lower, and that they are cheaper for motorists to run.
The statement revealed that Australia and Russia are among the only developed countries that don’t have fuel efficiency standards.
The statement from the office of Minister Chris Bowen says that the absence of a standard has meant Australians households and businesses are missing out on greater choice of vehicle models and are paying more in fuel costs to run their vehicles because manufacturers are prioritising sending more efficient vehicles to countries with standards in place.
The statement says that on average, new vehicles in Australia use 40 per cent more fuel than the European Union, 20 per cent more than the United States, and 15 per cent more than New Zealand.
Previous analysis has shown that the introduction of a fuel efficiency standard could save motorists $519 per year in fuel costs according to the government statement.
While the announcement mentioned the fact that passenger cars making up almost 10 per cent of Australia’s CO2 emissions, it doesn’t mention anything about the heavy pollution from commercial vehicles in Australia. T&B News approached Minister Bowen’s media staff for a comment and detail on commercial vehicle plans but nothing had been received before this story was published,
Fuel efficiency standards is an important step to meet our emissions reduction targets and the government said in the statement that they only apply to new vehicles, and not retrospectively, so consumers will still be able to choose they vehicle they want to drive.
Thanks he statement says that Australia also lags far behind other countries in EV sales, with our uptake of EVs around four times lower than the global average.
The strategy also looks at reducing barriers to electric vehicle uptake, whether it be demand, supply or infrastructure, which is the critical planning that consumers have been crying out for.
Transport is the third largest source of emissions in Australia. This strategy will help cut our emissions by at least 3 million tonnes of carbon by 2030, and over 10 million tonnes to 2035.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said Australian governments, car makers, motoring clubs, climate groups, businesses and unions were all on board with getting cleaner and cheaper cars to Australia
“This strategy delivers on our commitment to provide greater choice for Australians to drive cars that are cleaner and cheaper to run,” Minister Bowen said.
“This strategy provides the coordination and leadership to drive down costs and improve infrastructure so that we get more affordable and accessible electric vehicles on the market.
“The government has already cut taxes on EVs through the Electric Car Discount, saving up to $11,000 a year on a $50,000 electric vehicle. Thanks to the Albanese Government’s leadership, two and half times more EVs are being sold this year than they were at this time last year.
“Fuel-efficient and electric vehicles are cleaner and cheaper to run – today’s announcement is a win-win for motorists.”
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King said the government would introduce fuel efficiency standards that work for Australia’s market.
“This strategy offers an historic opportunity to develop fuel efficiency standards that learn from international best practice, while recognising the unique needs of Australians,” Minister King said.
“It will send a strong message to the global car industry that when it comes to transport technology, Australia will no longer settle for less.
“More than 85 percent of all cars sold in the world are subject to fuel efficiency standards. It’s time Australians were offered the same choice.”
Consultation on the design of fuel efficiency standards begins today, and is available through www.cleanercars.gov.au
Following the consultation, the government will release its proposed Fuel Efficiency Standard by the end of 2023.
The National Electric Vehicle Strategy is available at https://www.dcceew.gov.au/energy/transport