National Electric Vehicle Strategy announced

Friday, 21 April, 2023

National Electric Vehicle Strategy announced

The Albanese government has released Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy — a comprehensive roadmap to ensure Australians have a better choice of electric 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 coming months.

Fuel efficiency standards are standards which outline how much pollution — or 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.

Fiona Simon, CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council, said, “The Australian Hydrogen Council welcomes the federal government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy, in particular the commitment to introduce a Fuel Efficiency Standard by the end of the year.

“Policy settings that will create demand for zero emissions vehicles will need to value the public benefit of clean hydrogen and electric vehicles relative to incumbent fuels. This will give certainty to global vehicle manufacturers and investors to improve their business cases for sending vehicles to Australia.

“The National Electric Vehicle Strategy is a move in the right direction and we will be working closely with the government as it designs a fuel efficiency standard to ensure the benefits of hydrogen FCEVs are realised.”

The absence of a standard has meant Australian households and businesses do not have a great choice of car models and are paying more in fuel costs to run cars because manufacturers prioritise sending more efficient vehicles to countries with standards in place.

New cars in Australia, on average, use 40% more fuel than the European Union, 20% more than the United States and 15% more than New Zealand. Effective standards may save motorists $519 per year in fuel costs.

The standards will only apply to new cars.

In terms of electric vehicles (EVs), Australia has an uptake of around four times lower than the global average. The strategy will look at reducing barriers to electric vehicle uptake, whether it be demand, supply or infrastructure.

In Australia, transport is the third-largest source of emissions. This strategy aims to cut 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, “This strategy delivers on our commitment to provide greater choice for Australians to drive cars that are cleaner and cheaper to run.”

The strategy can help drive down costs and improve infrastructure to make EVs more affordable and accessible.

“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,” Bowen said.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said, “This strategy offers an historic opportunity to develop fuel efficiency standards that learn from international best practice, while recognising the unique needs of Australians.”

According to King, the strategy will give Australians the choice to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles.

“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,” King said.

Following the consultation, the government will release its proposed Fuel Efficiency Standard by the end of 2023.

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