Australia could help drivers save billions of dollars by matching fuel efficiency rules imposed by other leading economies, a new report says.
Stronger standards for new vehicles will cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the cost at the bowser, according to the Australia Institute.
The think tank found $5.9 billion in fuel costs would have been saved, and emissions equivalent to a year’s worth of domestic flights avoided, if robust fuel efficiency standards had been adopted in 2015.
Much of Europe – and Australia’s ACT – will ban petrol and diesel cars by the 2030s.
“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,” Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said.
Emissions from transport make up one-fifth of Australia’s total and are among the fastest-growing sources nationally, making the sector key to achieving the national target of a 43 per cent cut in emissions by 2030.
Fuel efficiency targets require manufacturers to pay a penalty for exceeding carbon emissions targets set for the average of new vehicles they sell.
The industry’s influential peak body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, wants the current voluntary standards to continue.
Voluntary rules have been in place since the 1970s and a new industry-led emissions standard was introduced in 2020 for passenger cars and SUVs, which the federal government could opt to carry over into a new regime.
Almost two in three Australians (65 per cent) support the introduction of national fuel efficiency standards in line with those in Europe, according to the Australia Institute.