Australia is at a crossroads in our transition to zero-emissions transport. Australia is one of the only countries in the OECD without national standards regulating the carbon emissions of new vehicles. Without these standards, often called fuel efficiency standards, car manufacturers could use Australia as a dumping ground for inefficient, highly-polluting vehicles which many other markets will no longer accept.
As of August 2022, the Australian government is considering a National Electric Vehicle Strategy, which would include the introduction of fuel efficiency standards. These standards would ensure wider choice of more efficient and zero emissions vehicles for the Australian market.
Internationally, fuel efficiency standards have been introduced in 80% of developed economies, and are seen as a simple and effective policy mechanism for reducing road transport emissions. They have already been implemented in nations such as the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, China, Korea, Japan and New Zealand, yet fuel efficiency standards in some jurisdictions have been met with fierce opposition from some car manufacturers that profit from the ongoing manufacture and sale of internal combustion engines. Toyota, the biggest car manufacturer in the world, has a track record as one of the worst global culprits in the car lobby’s efforts to slow electric vehicles.