Australia’s electric car campaign moves into high gear
Electric car proponents are encouraging Australians to have their say on a fuel-efficiency standard. Photo: Getty
Half of all new car sales in Australia should be electric by 2030 and the government should limit pollution from new petrol and diesel cars next year, says a new transport campaign.
The suggestions, released as part of a call to action by the Electric Vehicle Council, also say Australia should aim to catch up to electric car adoption in the US and Europe within seven years, and consider launching upgrade incentives for tradespeople, farmers and those living in remote locations.
The recommendations come one week before consultation closes on Australia’s fuel-efficiency standard, which the federal government committed to introducing as part of its National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
But other industry groups say Australians should ask the government to set more ambition targets, like those in New Zealand, to speed up the country’s move to greener cars.
Electric Vehicle Council policy head Dr Jake Whitehead said the organisation launched its digital submission form this week to help more Australians give their input on future vehicle policy.
The letter, which users can customise, suggests a fuel-efficiency standard should be introduced in 2024, that the government should take on the job of monitoring vehicle sales, and that the policy should ensure 50 per cent of all new vehicle sales were electric by 2030.
It also recommended limited pollution concessions for some vehicle types, and that electric vehicle incentives be considered for groups such as tradies and farmers.
Dr Whitehead said the recommendations would be similar to the council’s forthcoming submission.
“The key principle is we need to catch up with overseas markets like the US and the European Union this decade,” he said.
“New Zealand is looking to catch up in the next two to three years, so it’s not going to be quite as fast, but we certainly don’t want to reach 2030 behind a market like the US.”
Smart Energy Council transport lead Audrey Quicke said the group was also actively encouraging Australians to make submissions on the fuel-efficiency standard that it hoped would cut transport emissions and reduce fuel costs.
But she said the government should set bolder limits to catch up to progress in other nations sooner than 2030, like New Zealand, which introduced a fuel-efficiency standard this year.
“The Smart Energy Council recommends ambitious standards, legislated by the end of the year and without loopholes, similar to those introduced in New Zealand,” Ms Quicke said.
“Australia has borrowed a lot of great things from New Zealand – flat whites, lamingtons, Russell Crowe – why not take their fuel-efficiency standards model too?”
Consultation on an Australian fuel-efficiency standard will run until May 31, and Transport Minister Catherine King said the government intended to release draft legislation by the end of the year.