Government’s strategy misses opportunity to electrify Australian transport.
The federal government’s long-awaited Future Fuels strategy ignores the most important and effective measures to improve electric vehicle uptake, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.
The strategy will support and accelerate the rollout of some charging infrastructure. However, it does not include subsidies, tax incentives, or sales targets.
Crucially, it also fails to deliver minimum fuel efficiency standards, which have been used in the US and Europe for decades. Fuel efficiency standards require car manufacturers to sell vehicles with a combined level of emissions below a defined benchmark, encouraging the sale of zero emission vehicles.
“There’s no sugar coating it, Future Fuels is a fizzer,” said Electric Vehicle Council CEO, Behyad Jafari. “If it contained fuel efficiency standards and rebates it would give Australians more choice. The best and most affordable EVs manufacturers are producing would make their way swiftly onto our market.”
“Fuel efficiency standards are the absolute bare minimum of what you would expect in any 21st century plan. If Australia continues to be one of the only developed nations without fuel efficiency standards, then we will continue to be a dumping ground for the world’s dirtiest vehicles. Sadly, it’s that simple.”
Future Fuels is certainly an advance on the government’s rhetoric of the last election as the strategy has identified some of the correct benefits and pathways, but it does little to realise them.
“I welcome the progress we’ve seen, but it’s far too little too late. For a strategy that has apparently taken years to write, it leaves much to be desired. Electric vehicles present a monumental opportunity for Australia not only in reducing pollution, but creating an innovative industry in manufacturing, technology, and services, added Jafari.
“The sector will continue to urge the government to take appropriate actions that get more vehicles to Australia and on our roads. It’s a shame this government doesn’t have the same ambition for Australians that the electric vehicle industry does.”