Australia Talks New Vehicle Pollution Rules

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Australia and Their EV Uptake

Australia has announced plans to introduce new vehicle emissions standards aimed at increasing the adoption of electric cars, in an effort to keep up with other developed countries. In 2021, only 3.8% of cars sold in Australia were electric, lagging significantly behind Britain and Europe, where electric vehicles comprised 15% and 17% of sales, respectively. Energy Minister Chris Bowen revealed that the country’s national electric vehicle strategy will implement a fuel efficiency standard, which will specify the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a car when in use.

In a statement, Energy Minister Chris Bowen emphasized that fuel-efficient and electric vehicles offer a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for drivers. He described the new standards as a “win-win” situation for motorists. The specifics of the regulations will be determined in the upcoming months. Australia was one of the few developed nations, alongside Russia, to lack fuel efficiency standards or plans to develop them. Such standards incentivize manufacturers to produce more electric and zero-emission vehicles.

Transportation is the third-largest contributor to carbon emissions in Australia, one of the world’s top per capita emitters. The newly announced standards are projected to reduce emissions by at least 3 million tonnes of carbon by 2030 and over 10 million tonnes by 2035, according to Energy Minister Chris Bowen. While the Electric Vehicle Council welcomed the move, CEO Behyad Jafari urged the implementation of strong standards to prevent Australia from becoming a destination for outdated, high-emission vehicles.

Bowen noted that new cars in Australia consume 40% more fuel than those in the EU and 20% more than those in the US, and a fuel efficiency standard could save motorists an estimated A$519 ($349) per year. The Greens party leader Adam Bandt argued that the government’s strategy needs to prioritize electric vehicle targets in addition to fuel efficiency standards and needs to be more aggressive.

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