Greenpeace Australia Pacific has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to establish a Fuel Efficiency Standard (FES) as part of its National Electric Vehicle Strategy, but says a robust, strong policy must follow.

The Federal Government has today promised to implement a Fuel Efficiency Standard in Australia. The standards are designed to put a limit on the total average emissions across all cars sold by each car manufacturer and incentivise the development and sale of more affordable electric vehicles.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner Lindsay Soutar said today’s announcement marks an important milestone in Australia’s transition to cleaner, more efficient cars.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to establish a Fuel Efficiency Standard, but this promise is just the first step. From here, the task will be to implement strong standards in line with major markets like New Zealand and the EU, and avoid dodgy loopholes and credits that weaken the integrity of the scheme,” she said.

“Implementing strong, legislated, mandatory standards is the next vital step to kick start Australia’s electric vehicle revolution and make electric cars accessible and affordable to everyone.”

With the Government today pledging to “send a strong message to the global car industry”, Soutar said it will need to push back on motoring lobbyists when designing the policy, after it was revealed last year the industry had launched a wide-ranging secret campaign to undermine strong standards.

“Car industry lobbyists, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), were recently exposed as having a secret emissions plan that would slow EV uptake. To deliver maximum benefits to Australian households, the government will need to resist pressure from car makers like these who would like to keep Australia as a dumping ground for polluting cars they can’t sell elsewhere,” she said.

“The government needs to deliver for Australian households and the climate, not big car makers.”

Consultation on the specifics of the standards will now go out to industry and the public.

“The need to electrify our transport system has never been more urgent. Transport is one of the biggest sources of climate pollution in Australia – it alone accounts for almost one-fifth of our total emissions and is growing,” Soutar said.

“In the absence of up-to-date fuel efficiency standards, Australia’s domestic vehicle fleet is one of the most polluting and least efficient in the world. For too long Australian households have been missing out on the benefits of cleaner more efficient vehicles: cost savings, cleaner quieter streets, healthier communities, and reduced reliance on foreign oil. 

“Every day they delay costs motorists more money, and puts more toxic carbon pollution into our atmosphere. The government needs to get this job done, get it done fast and get it done well.”


Editor’s notes: 

Last year, car industry lobbyists the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) were exposed as having a secret emissions plan that would slow EV uptake. Greenpeace put a spotlight on the role Toyota has played all around the world to undermine the shift to electric vehicles. Toyota is the FCAI’s largest member