EVC calls on Government to introduce fuel efficiency standards

The popularity of New Zealand’s recent introduction of fuel efficiency standards has led the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) to call on Australia to “catch up”.

The standards are proving popular with New Zealanders, with 62 per cent believing the standards are “good for policy in New Zealand” versus only 12 per cent who disagree with the sentiment.

In accordance with the standards, car manufacturers would be obligated to adhere to an emissions limit across the average of all new vehicles sold each year. This motivates manufacturers to market EVs along with more fuel-efficient petrol and diesel vehicles.

Behyad Jafari, Chief Executive of the EVC, said Australia is one of the last developed nations to not introduce efficiency standards and the polling in New Zealand shows the government has nothing to fear from quickly catching up.

“It’s easy for fossil fuel car lobbyists to claim Australians would dislike a policy when it’s all hypothetical. What the New Zealand experience proves is that once the standards are introduced, people embrace them.

“There was a scare campaign against fuel efficiency standards in New Zealand when they were introduced and it quickly disappeared once reality set in.”

The introduction of the standards in New Zealand has had a significant impact on the car market, with EV market share increasing from four per cent of new vehicle sales to 20 per cent in recent months.

“The Australian Government should have introduced fuel efficiency standards many years ago. If this had happened we would have tens of thousands more EVs on the road and Australian drivers would not be waiting months, or years, to take delivery of their new electric vehicles.

“There is no reason to delay further. We need the federal government to announce strong fuel efficiency standards this year to help accelerate Australia’s transition to an electric fleet.”

Jafari stated that if the process is not sped up, it puts Australia’s ability to meet its emissions reduction targets from transport out of reach, passing the burden on to farmers and manufacturers.

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