In a recent statement by 120 Australian mayors and councillors, the federal government has been urged to pass legislation establishing a fuel economy requirement that will increase the supply of hybrid and electric vehicles.
At all levels of government, transportation is a substantial source of emissions; it ranks third nationally in terms of overall carbon dioxide output, just behind stationary energy and electricity.
“A lack of supply to Australia, and the strong federal policy to drive it, makes it difficult to transition our fleets, therefore limiting the availability of secondhand vehicles to communities,” says the statement. “We urge the federal government to support our access to electric vehicles by legislating strong fuel efficiency standards.”
Australia is one of the very few developed nations that does not have fuel efficiency requirements that penalise automotive manufacturers if the average CO2 emissions of their new vehicles exceed a mandated level, making it a dumping ground for older tech, which is estimated to cost drivers hundreds of dollars each year due to vehicles sold here being less efficient than those available overseas.
It is believed that without legislation, the supply of efficient fossil-fuelled vehicles and EVs will remain hindered.
“World-class fuel efficiency standards would bring more low and zero emissions vehicles to Australian shores,” the statement continues.
“This will accelerate the transition for councils – and with fleet vehicles entering the second-hand market after three to five years, this ensures communities have access to the best technology at a fair price.”
The federal government’s long-awaited National Electric Vehicle Strategy (NEVS) – released recently after months of consultation – will lead to a national Fuel Efficiency Standard proposal to parliament by the end of 2023.