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National fuel efficiency standard puts Australia on the road to fuel and pollution savings

The Climate Council Media Release

Proposed settings for a strong fuel efficiency standard announced today by the Federal Government will give Aussies better access to cleaner cars that are cheaper to run.

The Climate Council welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of a simple and transparent standard for new cars which will get Australia on track with countries like us to clean up our fleet of light vehicles. The proposed settings will deliver more choice for people in our cities and regions, by increasing access to all kinds of lower and zero emissions cars, vans and utes.

The Federal Government now needs to put the pedal to the metal and lock in these strong settings before the end of 2024 so Australians can start saving.

Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, said: “Today’s important announcement gets us off the starter’s grid and on the road to cheaper, cleaner transport.

“Many Australians are doing it tough right now, with petrol one of the expenses causing the most financial stress for households. At the same time, pollution from inefficient petrol-guzzling cars is fuelling harmful climate change.

“By giving Australians better choice of cleaner, cheaper-to-run cars, a strong fuel efficiency standard will cut household costs and clean up our air.”

Climate Councillor and energy expert, Greg Bourne, said: “A fuel efficiency standard will benefit all Australians – no matter what type of new car they are buying.

“Aussie drivers who have long commutes from our suburbs and regions are hurt the most by high and rising petrol bills. This means they’ll also see the biggest benefits from getting access to a wider range of affordable lower and zero emissions vehicles that are cheaper to run.

“Australians – especially those in our suburbs and regions – deserve access to the same choice of affordable, clean and safe cars that are already being sold in their millions overseas. A strong fuel efficiency standard can help deliver this.”

Fuel efficiency standards should be accompanied by other policies that support and enable the uptake of low and zero emissions vehicles. The National Electric Vehicle Strategy’s focus on improving the availability of charging infrastructure and incentivising uptake of the cleanest vehicles remains important to prepare our roads for this transition.

Learn more about Fuel Efficiency Standards here

View the Climate Council’s Fuel Efficiency Standards Consultation submission here


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  1. Cheryl

    Good to a point but slow off the mark.
    Should demonstrate conviction by these standards commencing THIS July (2024), not 2025 !

  2. Andrew Smith

    Finally…. most Australians are oblivious of low fuel standards that equate with Russia’s….

    Visiting northern Vic lazing around on river barge where friends of family bumped into us; complaining of gas being exported but not realising, conversely, most fuel is imported…. and claiming renewables inc. solar and EVs are BS….

  3. Terence Mills

    Presumably the coalition will dust off their mantra “[An electric vehicle] won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favourite camping spot with your family.”

    And Michaelia Cash will tell tradies that “Labor is coming after their Utes”

    Very hard to get anything done in Australia these days

  4. Clakka

    It’s been a blight on Oz for many decades. Held to ransom by the petro-states, we have cringed and dithered, smashed our skills and manufacturing industries (Hockey), shut all our refineries, and subjected the Oz population to the worst most polluting liquid fuels and low-efficiency gas-guzzlers the world can foist upon us.

    The govt has engendered tax-driven idiocy of Toorak tractors and the brainless ‘fun’ culture of the burnout boys and the rites of bucolic beast sex drives.

    With our pathetic fuel reserves now allegedly held offshore, agriculturalists are now being terrified by organized fuel theft, and the dilemma that at any one time there is only 3 days’ supply of diesel available in the country.

    We all look forward to the development of renewables and EVs and renewables-driven electrical mechanization, but the latter is many decades away.

    Now in this almighty mess, in the meantime, the least Oz can do is clean up the fuels we burn.

  5. Frank Sterle Jr.

    A large number of owners/drivers of superfluously over-powered thus gas-guzzling vehicles consider their machines to be an extension of their phallic ego. It terrifies them to even contemplate a world in which they cannot readily fuel that extension, and comparatively quiet electric cars are no substitute.

    Meantime, parked vehicles will idle for many minutes in moderate weather temperatures. There’ll also be the odd choking-thick-exhaust-spewing vanity vehicle, a metallic beast with the signature superfluously very large body and wheels that don’t at all appear used for work or family transport.

    They’re the same gratuitously huge monsters that when parked roadside hazardously block the view of short-car operators turning or crossing through stop-signed intersections. They appear as though they might get about 25 gallons to the mile. Inside each is the operator, typically staring down into their lap, probably their smartphones. They may be some of the people posting protestations onto various social media platforms about a gas tax/price increase, however comparatively small.

    But our world — very much including Western nations — desperately needs to behave smarter with vehicular fuel consumption, therefore all need to forgo purchasing the most gratuitously environmentally hazardous of vehicles.

  6. andyfiftysix

    look we all know the standards are way way too low. I know for a fact cars OS are fitted with better engines than the crap imported to australia. It needs to be fixed asap.

    As to whether it will save money at the bowser, i honestly dont think so. And i am fine with that, but dont snowball me with BS.
    I am happy for everyone to switch over to EVs.

    Its what I always say, the government wants to do something and then it creates BS barriers or side tracks. Fuck me, a car costs $15,000 in china but costs us $45,000. WTF is going on. If they are serious about reducing pollution and costs, here is low hanging fruit……..

  7. andyfiftysix

    Clakka, “….but the latter is many decades away….”. I dont know where you live, but my lived experience is that we are deep into the start of an energy transition. many decades away is a joke…..its here and coming on strong.

    Frank, your treading the path of gross generalisations. All those things may be true but they may also short change other reasons.

    I have owned a commodore in australia and now own a big diesel SUV in thailand. The SUV is far more economical and powerful. I used to struggle to get in the commodore without bumping my head. I think these are valid reason for choosing a big SUV over a sardine can designed for sardines.

    My next vehicle will be an EV, hands down. But i wont be buying a sardine can designed for sardines. I intend to go solar for the house so my plans are to be energy independant as much as technically possible when funds allow.

    I am not a fanatic who choses to down scale life. We have the technology and intend to use it. And it doesnt equate to destruction of the environment or curtailing my social freedom to move around. . I know some people seem to think its a backward step. Any form of new is poison to them. Somehow burning logs in an open fire is good for you…….cough cough cough.

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