EVC endorses fuel efficiency standards

Electric Vehicle Council
Friday, 12 August, 2022

EVC endorses fuel efficiency standards

The Electric Vehicle Council (EVC), the national body representing the EV industry in Australia, has strongly recommended that Australia adopt fuel efficiency standards (FESs) that align with those in the US or Europe.

These fuel efficiency targets serve as a way of reducing carbon emissions by making manufacturers pay a penalty for exceeding a certain CO2 limit for the average of new vehicles they sell, which incentivises carmakers to produce low- and zero-emissions automobiles.

Not adopting these sorts of standards, the Council said, will lead to Australia being a climate laggard, with affordable EVs being difficult to import and the country failing to reach net zero emissions as it continues instead to purchase fossil fuel vehicles.

The EVC pointed out that Australia is one of the only OECD nations to not have regulated FESs and that there is a higher demand for EVs than supply due to this reason. Conversely, nations with a strict FES see higher rates of electric vehicles in use.

Additionally, while some manufacturers have called for weak standards to be adopted, this would amount to a far less effective form of reducing emissions, the EVC said.

“The only fuel efficiency standards that will make a difference are standards in line with those that exist in the US and Europe,” said EVC chief executive Behyad Jafari.

“Australia missed the boat by 30 years in introducing fuel efficiency standards making us the world’s dumping ground for dirty vehicles today. If we finally get around to it and then introduce standards that don’t work that would be a tragedy.

“Car manufacturers sell the bulk of their vehicles into markets with fuel efficiency standards because that helps avoid penalty. There is currently no such incentive in Australia, which relegates this market to a lower order priority.

“If we want to see larger and more frequent shipments of EVs to Australia, government should ignore the weak standards some in industry are lobbying for.

“There is no path to net zero by 2050 unless Australia stops selling emitting vehicles by 2035. Cars in Australia have a 15-year average life span. If we’re still selling a significant quantity of combustion engine vehicles in 2036 we fail on net zero. It’s that simple.”

The Electric Vehicle Council has published a report into the reduced supply of EVs in the country, which includes analysis of these fuel targets.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/olgagorovenko

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