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The Greens plan to introduce mandatory fuel efficiency standards, as announced earlier this week, is a welcomed move to help Australia compete with international carbon emissions targets.

Under the proposed plan the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned by 2030, and a four-year 17% tax on luxury petrol and diesel cars would be imposed. Australia would also adopt a mandatory fuel efficiency standard of 105g of CO2 a kilometre by 2022, three years earlier than a proposal being considered by the federal government.

It would also cut tariffs and charges on new electric or zero-emissions vehicles, including the 5% import tariff, GST and stamp duty, in order to lower the purchase price to match new petrol or diesel cars, and offer three years free registration on new zero-emissions vehicles.

Gail Broadbent, a researcher at the University of New South Wales, said the targets were achievable and if implemented would increase Australia’s sluggish adoption of electric vehicles.

“There is no incentive for vehicle manufacturers to bring them into the country so we just get fobbed off the old vehicles,” she said.

“Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain so there’s no incentive for manufacturers to bring them here if the policy settings do not shift.”
Meanwhile The Greens climate change and energy spokesman, Adam Bandt, called on Labor to support the policy, which was to be announced as part of the Batman byelection campaign.

“This plan is the quantum leap we need to reduce emissions, meet our paltry Paris targets and to stop people dying from air pollution,” Bandt said.