Vehicle emissions standard could be on the table ahead of electric vehicle summit


The automotive sector is hopeful Labor’s election win has revived the prospect of an emissions cap on vehicles being imposed.

A new report has found if an emissions cap on car-makers that was proposed by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had been implemented, it would have saved consumers $5.9 billion in fuel costs.

Australia is an outlier on fuel efficiency standards, with more than 80 per cent of the global car market being subject to one. It’s left car-makers in the unusual position of asking for their carbon dioxide emissions to be regulated.

The nation also has some of the least efficient and most polluting cars of any developed country, emitting on average 169.8 grams of CO2 per kilometer, compared to 129.9 in the US and 120.4 in Europe, according to 2018 figures.

The Australia Institute’s climate and energy director, Richie Merzian, is hopeful the new government will soon move to implement a standard, as the group prepares to co-host an electric vehicle summit being attended by the federal Climate Change and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, next month.

Mr Merzian said it was the sector’s “expectation” that Mr Bowen would put forward a plan to improve fuel efficiency standards.

“With record-high oil prices you can’t help but think it’s a bit crazy that we don’t have a mandate for more efficient vehicles to come here,” Mr Merzian said.

“Right now, the Albanian government is sticking closely to what they perceive as the mandate they have been given … [but] there have been some relatively positive signals from the Labor government that this is a policy they could pick up this term of government.”

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