Transport currently makes up 20% and the fastest-growing source of emissions in Australia. By 2030 is it anticipated to be our largest source of emissions, as the electricity grid decarbonises.

Meanwhile, demand for electric vehicles in Australia has skyrocketed. While every Australian state and territory government has now introduced some form of incentive for the purchase of electric vehicles, the lack of fuel efficiency standards in Australia is putting the brakes on the electric vehicle market, holding Australians back from cleaner, more affordable electric transport.

This important climate decision will make all the difference when it comes to urgently bringing more affordable electric vehicles into Australia is crucial if Australia is to meet its climate targets. 

Due to the absence of strong, legislated fuel efficiency standards, Australia’s domestic vehicle fleet is one of the most polluting and least efficient in the world. Meanwhile, at least 80% of the global car market already have vehicle emissions standards and are seeing more electric vehicles on their roads, leaving Australia behind.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific has today welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to legislating a New Fuel Efficiency Standard.

A fuel efficiency standard is the first step to opening up the Australian market to more EVs and ensuring that demand for them can be met.

Had the Government introduced standards in 2015 when the idea was initially put forward, Australians would have saved almost 6 billion dollars in fuel costs since.

Today’s announcement: the NVES reaches the Lower House

Onwards from today’s announcement, when it comes to accelerating Australia’s electric transport options, the gap between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ fuel efficiency standards makes all the difference. 

While weaker and delayed targets for the Light Commercial Vehicle segment will mean that around 35% of cars sold in Australia will face laxer rules over the next 4 years under the Government’s Bill, car makers are making rapid progress on designing new electric and plug-in hybrid utes. We expect those targets can be revisited and strengthened in 2026 as they come to market.

“The Government has committed to a 43% reduction in carbon emissions (from 2005 levels) across the economy by 2030. Their pre-election modeling assumed 89 per cent of new car sales would need to be fully electric to meet that goal. 

Clearly the NVES as drafted will not achieve that level of EV market share, so it will be up to the Government to identify other policy measures which will achieve commensurate reductions in the transport sector to make up for the shortfall, for example investing in public transport, cycling and the electrification of freight.