ARKANSAS, February 5 (Future Headlines)- The Federal Government of Australia has unveiled its proposal for a new vehicle fuel efficiency standard (NVES) with the goal of reducing emissions from vehicles and promoting cleaner, more cost-effective alternatives. The proposal, titled “Cleaner, Cheaper to Run Cars: The Australian New Vehicle Efficiency Standard Consultation Impact Analysis,” outlines various options for developing the NVES and presents the associated costs and benefits. The initiative seeks to address the fact that approximately one million new cars sold in Australia each year are not currently required to meet any fuel efficiency standards.

The primary objective of the proposed NVES is to implement a standard by 2025, bringing Australia in line with the average vehicle emissions intensity of the United States by around 2028. The government aims to significantly reduce Australia’s CO₂ emissions, targeting close to 100 million tons by 2035 and up to 369 million tons by 2050.

The Climate Council has welcomed the government’s proposal, emphasizing the importance of a simple and transparent standard for new vehicles to drive the adoption of low and zero-emission cars. The Council sees this initiative as a crucial step toward providing Australians with more choices in cleaner transportation options, ultimately reducing household costs and mitigating the impact of petrol expenses.

Climate Council Chief Executive Officer, Amanda McKenzie, highlighted the financial stress caused by rising petrol costs for many Australian households. The proposed fuel efficiency standard is seen as a means to alleviate this burden while simultaneously addressing the environmental impact of inefficient petrol vehicles.

Climate Councillor and energy expert Greg Bourne emphasized the broad benefits of a fuel efficiency standard, particularly for Australians with long commutes who are disproportionately affected by high petrol bills. Access to a wider range of affordable, lower-emission vehicles is expected to provide significant benefits, especially for those in suburban and regional areas.

The proposed NVES is a critical component of Australia’s strategy to achieve emission reduction targets. By establishing fuel efficiency standards, the government aims to curb emissions from the transportation sector and contribute to the country’s broader efforts to combat climate change. The Climate Council supports the initiative and encourages the Federal Government to finalize the new settings by the end of 2024.

While the fuel efficiency standard is a crucial step, the Climate Council advocates for additional policies that support and facilitate the adoption of low and zero-emission vehicles. A comprehensive approach, combining fuel efficiency standards with complementary policies, is seen as essential to accelerate the transition to cleaner and more sustainable transportation options.

Reporting by Alireza Sabet; Editing by Sarah White