New Zealand’s recent introduction of fuel efficiency standards are proving extremely popular, with 62 per cent of New Zealanders believing the standards are “good policy for New Zealand,” versus only 12 per cent who disagree with the sentiment.
The standards have had a significant impact on the NZ car market, with EV market share soaring from 4 per cent of new vehicle sales to 20 per cent in recent months.
This result comes despite intense lobbyist claims that Australians and New Zealanders would baulk at the reform. The new polling shows support for New Zealand’s fuel efficiency standards, named ‘Clean Car Standards,’ are popular across the political divide.
The Electric Vehicle Council has long called on the Australian Government to introduce fuel efficiency standards that have long been in place in the US, Europe, and, more recently, New Zealand.
The standards would mean that car manufacturers would be required not to exceed an emissions cap across the average of all new vehicles sold in a year. This encourages manufacturers to sell EVs, as well as more fuel efficient petrol and diesel models.
Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the New Zealand polling underscored how easy and in fact popular it would be to introduce the standards in Australia.
“Australia is one of the last developed nations on earth not to introduce fuel efficiency standards and this polling shows the government has nothing to fear from quickly catching up,” Mr Jafari said.
“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 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.
“If we don’t speed up the process today it puts Australia’s ability to meet its emissions reduction targets from transport out of reach, passing the burden on to farmers and manufacturers.”