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An opportunity to save money and reduce emissions

ACT Independent Senator David Pocock has called for swift adoption of an ambitious but realistic Fuel Efficiency Standard.

ACT Independent Senator David Pocock has called for swift adoption of an ambitious but achievable Fuel Efficiency Standard in a submission responding to the federal government’s consultation paper.

Senator Pocock pointed to Australia and Russia as being among the only developed economies without a Fuel Efficiency Standard. As a result, vehicle manufacturers prioritise their EV supply away from Australia to the 85% of world markets that do have Fuel Efficiency Standards in place. 

“Australian consumers are suffering as a result of policy inaction,” Senator Pocock said. 

“We have just 60 electric vehicle models to choose from in Australia, compared with 230 models in the European Union. Worse, there are no electric vehicles available in Australia for less than $40,000, while there are 20 models available in the European Union.” 

The absence of a Fuel Efficiency Standard is the primary reason Australia is now an electric vehicle laggard, with sales in 2022 accounting for just 3.8% of all new passenger vehicles compared with 13.3% globally, 80% in Norway, 27% in China, 21% in Europe, and 20% in New Zealand .

The transport sector represents the second largest source of emissions, and as the fastest growing sector, is set to take first position. Without an ambitious standard, there is a real risk that the transport sector will blow Australia’s carbon budget.

Key recommendations from the submission include:

  1. The Fuel Efficiency Standard must be effective, equitable, transparent, credible and robust. It must reduce the life-time running costs for Australian light vehicle owners.

  2. The Fuel Efficiency Standard must position Australia as competitive in the global market for zero emissions vehicles by establishing an average annual emissions ceiling target of less than 60g CO2/km, and a market share for new zero emissions vehicles of at least 50% by 2030.

  3. There should be no off-cycle credits or super credits, and all credits should have a maximum vintage life of two years.

  4. The Fuel Efficiency Standard should start on 1 July 2024.

“An ambitious Fuel Efficiency Standard with integrity is a no-brainer: it will finally give Australians access to affordable electric vehicles,” Senator Pocock said.

“Faced with increasing costs of living, Australians looking for ways to save money should be able to get an affordable EV and avoid paying thousands of dollars a year at the petrol pump.

“With more affordable EVs, the billions of dollars saved on petrol and diesel will be saved or spent locally, generating jobs and economic activity that will benefit our communities.

“This is an opportunity we need to take to save money, stimulate economic growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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