Thursday, May 30, 2024

120 mayors and councillors spark campaign to fast track EVs

Mayors and councillors from across Australia have joined forces to call on the Federal Government to fast track the national supply of affordable electric vehicles.

In a joint statement, signed by 120 council elected officials, the group urge the
Government to legislate fuel efficiency standards that:

● Are mandatory and deliver at least equivalent settings to those in other major markets;
● Give Australian drivers more choice and affordability than they have today;
● Support 100% of new vehicles sold in Australia to become zero emissions as soon as possible;
● Are reviewed and updated approximately every five years.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor, Andrea Metcalf says the Victorian council has set a goal to transition more than 100 light fleet to electric vehicles by 2030.

“However we are held back by the limited options available in Australia at the right price point,” she said.

“We also know that some people in our community are in a similar position. They also want to be driving electric vehicles that are good for the environment, have lower running costs and are affordable.

“Fuel efficiency standards are critical to unlocking this supply in Australia and would be a game changer for the transition of our transport sector to clean fuels.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, ACT Government, Shane Rattenbury MLA, says vehicle manufacturers send their cleanest vehicles to countries that demand low and zero emissions vehicles through effective fuel efficiency standards.

“For too long Australia has been left with less efficient and more polluting vehicles, which limits the choices Australians have when purchasing a new car,” he said.

“We need to set national fuel efficiency standards for vehicles to make sure we get the cleanest cars on our roads. Setting strong fuel efficiency standards is vital for meeting our emissions reduction targets and for making more affordable electric vehicles available to Australians.”

The cohort say that fuel efficiency standards cover 80% of the global car market and open the door for affordable low and zero emissions vehicles. They say Australia is one of the only wealthy countries without them, alongside Russia, Indonesia and Türkiye. As a result, Australia has become a ‘dumping ground’ for polluting vehicles, with few affordable and available EV options currently on the market.

The Cities Power Partnership, a program offered by the Climate Council to support local
governments on their journey to net-zero emissions, convened today’s joint statement.

Dr Jennifer Rayner, Head of Advocacy at the Climate Council said, “World-class fuel efficiency standards would bring more low and zero emissions vehicles to Australian shores.

“Local government officials are doing what they can to accelerate the shift to EVs, but their hands are tied by prohibitive costs, which is why we’re taking their calls for more affordable options to the federal level.

“Fleets make up 41% of new car sales each year. 1 With the average government fleet vehicle entering the secondhand market after three to five years, councils can play a critical role in supplying affordable EVs to their communities.

“Among the Cities Power Partnership’s 180 members, three-quarters have at least one EV in their fleets, but many are keen to go entirely electric. Cheaper EVs will be the key to this.

“For communities to reap the benefits of cleaner, cheaper-to-run vehicles, it is essential the
Federal Government implements fuel efficiency standards to supercharge our EV supply,” she said.

Latest Articles