Image: Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy: At a glance. From Government plan document
Households are currently spending almost $100 a week on fuel bills, which adds to cost-of-living pressures.
“Strong fuel efficiency standards are the key to unlocking supply of the cleanest and cheapest-to-run cars for Australia – including electric ones. The government and industry will be driving with a flat tyre in trying to deliver the rest of the National Electric Vehicle Strategy if we don’t get these in place soon.”
Climate Council is calling for fuel efficiency standards that:
set Australia on a strong pathway to a zero emissions fleet – with a target of all new vehicles sold being zero emissions by 2035 at the latest
align with other car markets like New Zealand, the United States and Europe as a minimum – so Australia moves up the queue for cleaner, cheaper vehicles
deliver genuine reductions in emissions from new cars sold in Australia – avoiding credits and loopholes that undermine their effectiveness
are mandatory and legislated – auto manufacturers shouldn’t be able to opt out
start as soon as possible – every new vehicle sold today will likely be on the road for at least the next 10 years, so we cannot delay.
Background: What are Fuel Efficiency Standards?
Fuel efficiency standards are the key to unlocking the supply of lower and zero emissions vehicles in Australia. They aim to limit the greenhouse gas emissions from Australia’s fleet of cars. They do this by setting a maximum average level of carbon emissions allowed across a manufacturer’s overall new car sales.
In short, they provide incentives for car makers to supply lower and zero emissions vehicles – and penalise them for failing to do so. Over time, as the fuel efficiency standard is tightened (meaning the maximum amount of CO₂ that can be emitted is reduced), car markers must sell higher numbers of lower and zero emissions vehicles to avoid penalties.
Solar Citizens 19th April 2023:
Solar Citizens today welcomes the release of the Federal Government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy, recognising the important progress towards cleaning up Australia’s transport sector, in particular with the introduction of a Fuel Efficiency Standard by the end of the year.
Clean Transport Campaigner Ajaya Haikerwal says that the Government has made an important step by putting a Fuel Efficiency Standard at the centre of the Strategy, but it’s vital that the Standard implemented is ambitious to catch Australia up with the rest of the world.
the Government has made an important step by putting a Fuel Efficiency Standard at the centre of the Strategy, but it’s vital that the Standard implemented is ambitious to catch Australia up with the rest of the world
“After over 500 submissions to the consultation process, the vast majority calling for a Fuel Efficiency Standard, it’s heartening that the Government has finally got the message that it needs to put the pedal to the metal. There’s clearly the willingness from both the community and the industry to fix Fuel Efficiency Standards and get it right as soon as possible, to bring more clean car choices for all Australians,” said Haikerwal.
“Australia is already at the back of the global queue when it comes to access to electric vehicles (EVs) – we’ve become a dumping ground for crappy, inefficient vehicles that aren’t accepted in other countries. We need to join the same queue as the rest of the world, but there’s no point joining at the back, or we’ll simply end up in the same predicament we’ve been in for the past decade.
“What we’ve needed for a long time is a world-class Standard that is at least as ambitious as Europe or New Zealand, without loopholes or dodgy super credits that create perverse climate outcomes, and that give all Australians a fair go and reduce spending on petrol. It’s an easy rule change with a minimal cost to the Government.”
Solar Citizens analysis has shown that if the Federal Government implemented a Fuel Efficiency Standard matching the European Union, Australians could save at least $11 billion in fuel cost savings over 5 years, including $4 billion for regional Australia.
if the Federal Government implemented a Fuel Efficiency Standard matching the European Union, Australians could save at least $11 billion in fuel cost savings over 5 years, including $4 billion for regional Australia
“Our ‘Recharging Australia’ report has demonstrated the cost of living relief that this policy will bring – a whopping $11 billion invested back into the Australian community, rather than leaving our shores forever and lining the pockets of foreign-owned oil companies,” said Haikerwal.
Solar Citizens’ Electric Ute Roadshow is currently gathering the views of regional and rural Australians towards EVs by touring the first commercially available electric ute around regional Australia.
“We keep hearing the same message over and over again from regional communities – give us the vehicles we want, at a fair price point and we’re ready to make the switch.
“Our electric ute is the first of its kind, and it certainly won’t be the last. But we won’t have access to the variety of cars and utes that exist overseas—including ones that are suitable for regional Australia—if we don’t fix Fuel Efficiency Standards ASAP.”
Climate Action Health Alliance Wednesday 19 April 2023
Strong fuel efficiency standard is key to unlocking myriad of health benefits
All Australians’ health will benefit from cleaner air as a result of a National Electric Vehicle Strategy, with a fuel efficiency standard at its centre. Australia’s peak body on climate change and health, the Climate and Health Alliance has welcomed the release of the strategy.
CAHA Policy Specialist on air pollution and researcher, Clare Walter says, “by cleaning up our cars and trucks, we can unlock a myriad of health benefits for all Australians”.
“Australia desperately needs to clean up its tailpipes. Each year there are an estimated 11,000 premature deaths and 66,000 asthma cases related to tailpipe exhaust in Australia. The impacts are greatest in young children,” she said.
“We welcome the commitment to fuel efficiency standards, after a decade of calls from environment and health advocates. We look forward to working with the government to ensure Australia implements a robust fuel efficiency standard that will improve our health and lower carbon emissions.
“A National Electric Vehicle Strategy will also help reduce the burden on our stretched healthcare system. Right now, the health impacts of our toxic transport system result in over 19,000 cardio-respiratory hospital admissions each year.
“The National Electric Vehicle Strategy is a great start, and the government can go further to create healthier transport choices for all Australians. Alongside this Strategy, we need more investment in electrifying public transport and improving active transport infrastructure. This will unlock a myriad of further health benefits related to reducing air pollution, noise pollution, road trauma rates and physical inactivity.”
The National Electric Vehicle Strategy
The National Electric Vehicle Strategy sets a vision to increase the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce our emissions and improve the wellbeing of Australians.
The Strategy sets out 3 key objectives:
- increase the supply of affordable and accessible EVs
- establish the resources, systems and infrastructure to enable rapid EV uptake
- encourage increased EV demand.
Implementing initiatives under the objectives will help us deliver the following outcomes:
- expand EV availability and choice
- reduce road transport emissions
- make it easy to charge EVs across Australia
- increase local manufacturing and recycling
- make EVs more affordable
- reduce the cost to Australians of running their vehicles.
We’re accelerating our nation to a future where Australians have greater choice. Where you can buy from a larger range of vehicles that are cleaner and cheaper to run.
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