The Electric Vehicle Council has welcomed Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy but warns the government must act swiftly and boldly to calibrate and enforce Australia’s fuel efficiency standards.
Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said: “There’s a long road ahead for Australia to catch up with the rest of the world on electric vehicle policy, but this strategy can accelerate progress.
“It’s a relief that an Australian Government has finally committed to fuel efficiency standards, which have been operational in the US and Europe for decades. But with those jurisdictions now leaping forward in terms of ambition Australia must bring in strong standards that keep pace with the modern world. If we squib it on the detail Australia will remain the world’s dumping ground for dated, high-emission vehicles.
“Australia is lagging behind as one of the last developed countries without any fuel efficiency standards. From the US to Europe and across the ditch in New Zealand, strong fuel efficiency standards are providing drivers with more EV choice and reducing harmful emissions.
“Having fuel efficiency standards in Australia in line with global markets will save motorists hundreds of dollars on fuel each year and give them more affordable electric vehicles to choose from.
“If Australia is serious about developing a local EV value chain to secure our future prosperity, the first crucial step to secure investment is to demonstrate we have a strong local market for these products. This will only be possible through the introduction of a globally-competitive fuel efficiency standard that accelerates local adoption.
“We will be working closely with the government as it designs a fuel efficiency standard for passenger and light commercial vehicles. Australia has a bright and clean electric future just around the corner, but only if we get the policy settings right today.”