Australia announces first national electric vehicle strategy
Australia’s federal government has released the country’s first national electric vehicle strategy – a comprehensive roadmap to ensure Australians have a better choice of electric vehicles, and encourage greater use of cleaner, cheaper-to-run vehicles.
As part of the strategy and following extensive public consultation, the government will introduce a Fuel Efficiency Standard, working with industry and the community to finalise details in the coming months.
Fuel efficiency standards are standards which outline how much pollution, specifically, carbon dioxide, a car will produce when it’s running.
More efficient vehicles will produce fewer emissions, meaning their environmental impact is lower, and they are cheaper for motorists to run.
Australia and Russia are among the only developed countries that don’t have fuel efficiency standards.
On average, new cars in Australia use 40% more fuel than the European Union, 20% more than the United States, and 15% more than New Zealand.
Previous analysis has shown that the introduction of a fuel efficiency standard could save motorists AUD519 (USD347) per year in fuel costs.
With passenger cars making up almost 10% of Australia’s CO2 emissions, it is an important step to meet Australia’s emissions reduction targets.
Fuel efficiency standards will only apply to new cars, so consumers will still be able to choose the vehicle they want to drive.
Australia also lags far behind other countries in EV sales, with Australia’s 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.
Transport is the third largest source of emissions in Australia. This strategy will help reduce Australia’s emissions by at least three million tonnes of carbon by 2030, and more than 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,” 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 AUD11,000 (USD7,364) a year on a AUD50,000 (USD33,475) 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,” 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% 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