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Following the release of the National Electric Vehicle Strategy, the Australian government said it would legislate a fuel efficiency standard that will help improve the supply of alternative fuel vehicles like EVs and hybrids.

In a press conference, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said “Australia and Russia are the only two developed countries without fuel efficiency standards in place or under development. That position should not be allowed to continue”.

“This is ultimately all about giving Australians better choices – better choices of cars which are better for the climate and better to drive and more cost-efficient,” Mr. Bowen added.

“Fuel efficiency standards would require more affordable electric vehicles to be sent to Australia. Look at other countries – the United Kingdom, for example – there’s a much bigger range of affordable vehicles, electric vehicles, available for people,” Mr. Bowen said.

“We want people of all walks of life, regardless of where they live, regardless of their income, to have the chance to consider buying an electric vehicle, to weigh it up for their own purposes and best interests, and fuel efficiency standards will play a big role in doing that,” he added.

Consultations Launched

Meanwhile, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government Catherine King said that the government plans to spend the next few weeks designing the standards with stakeholders. Once final, the plan will be introduced to parliament by the end of 2023.

“The consultation period will last for six week…And then our plan is to have an exposure draft of the legislation ready at least by the end of the year,” said Ms. King.

“My preference would be to have it introduced by the end of the year, but it is going to depend on how technical or how some of those technical issues are dealt with within my department, and they can take a little bit of time. But our intention is to do that,” she added.

Stakeholders can submit opinions for the consultation paper until May 31, 2023 by clicking here.

Fuel efficiency standards apply to over eighty-five per cent of all cars sold in the world with Australia being one of the few industrialised countries not to have this mandated.

A fuel efficiency standard will ensure more low and zero-emissions cars come to Australia by requiring car manufacturers to meet an average emissions target for the cars they sell. A standard will also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

In other countries with fuel efficiency standards, manufacturers that sell heavier vehicles, like utes and 4WDs, have a higher emissions target. This means they keep selling these vehicles for those who need them, while increasing consumer choice for those wanting to buy an EV or low emissions car.

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