Greenpeace Australia Pacific has today released figures showing Australian motorists would have saved $10.1 billion in avoided petrol costs if a fuel efficiency standard had been introduced in 2016. 

Traffic in Birmingham UK. © Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace
© Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace

“Petrol is a dirty, polluting, expensive, fossil fuel – and with every year that passes, our reliance on fossil fuelled cars is costing Australians billions,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Lindsay Soutar said today.

“The Australian Government under Malcom Turnbull looked seriously at legislating fuel efficiency standards in December 2016 – but then failed to put this critical measure in place.

“Today that indecision has cost Australians dearly, with over $10.1 billion in avoidable petrol costs forked out, and transport emissions still continuing to rise.

“In April, Transport Minister Catherine King announced there would be legislation for a fuel efficiency standard by the end of this year – but now she is refusing to confirm that timeline. The question must now be asked: is Catherine King taking her eyes off the road too?’

Alongside the new data Greenpeace has released a ‘Fuel Costs ticker’ that shows motorists missed savings of $6,300 every minute, $378,000 every hour and $9 million every day as a result of failure to introduce the policy.

“Each day without a legislated minimum level of efficiency for new cars being sold means more gas-guzzlers on the road. These cars then keep polluting for an average of 15 years, locking Australians into years of higher petrol consumption.

“In a time of climate crisis and with cost of living only rising, Minister King needs to keep her promise to cut dirty, polluting emissions. Every day we delay costs motorists and our climate.”

The figures come as Toyota’s latest sustainability report shows Australia receiving Toyota’s dirtiest cars, alongside South Africa.

“These new figures provide proof that Toyota is blowing smoke in the eyes of Australian motorists. They’re using Australia as a dumping ground for their most polluting vehicles,  while lobbying to delay fuel efficiency standards.

“Even oil kingdom Saudi Arabia is getting more fuel-efficient cars from Toyota than Australia”

Just this week the peak lobby group representing Toyota called for the go slow on introducing the policy, despite the government having run consultations on the proposed introduction of standards for well over a year now.

The data comes as recently released Climate Council polling showed a majority of Australians thought fuel efficiency standards would save them money.

“Minister King must stand up to the car lobby and start delivering for Australian motorists. As the only major wealthy nation without a fuel efficiency standard, our country is being left behind in the transition to cleaner technologies.

“Every week that passes, Australians will continue paying the price for the Minister’s delayed action on transport emissions,” Ms Soutar added.


Note: for methodology please click here