Australia, Electric Trucks, Transport News

AAA calls for “clarity and consensus” on vehicle efficiency standard

While the AAA is supportive of the vehicle efficiency standard in Australia, it is calling on the federal government to provide more detail on economic analysis

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has called on the federal government to be more transparent on its New Vehicle Efficiency Standard.

While the AAA has long supported the introduction of an efficiency standard, the association warns that a poorly designed standard could deliver damaging outcomes for both consumers and the environment.

In a submission to Cleaner, Cheaper to Run Cars: The Australian New Vehicle Efficiency Standard, the AAA says the federal government needs to better demonstrate how it has balanced the standard’s ambition and achievability while calling for the release of how the model will impact the 9.3 million members of AAA clubs.

The AAA commissioned the Centre for International Economics to complete an economic analysis on the proposed standard, with the findings suggesting that the new model will require “very dramatic changes” to Australia’s fleets.

The AAA submission also raises issues related to growing electric vehicle uptake that it wants the federal government to address, such as the introduction of charging infrastructure, skills shortages and the unsustainability of motoring taxes.

“Regulation to modernise Australia’s vehicle fleet would benefit some consumers and impose costs on others, and the government must be more open about both sides of this equation if it is to garner community support and reduce political division,” AAA managing director Michael Bradley says.

“The AAA encourages both sides of politics to work towards implementing an efficiency standard that is both ambitious and achievable.”

The federal government says its vehicle efficiency standard plan will align Australia with the equivalent USA regulation by 2028. The AAA has questioned this idea due to the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard excluding heavier pickup trucks and the lack of US targets beyond 2026.

Alongside this, 19 US states offer EV incentives for buyers of up to US$7,500 per car.

While the AAA submission congratulates the federal government on committing to an efficiency standard, the AAA is also encouraging them to be more transparent with its modelling and its quantification of the impacts of its preferred option on different vehicle categories and types.

With the federal government paying Acil Allen $748,545 for economic analysis associated with the standard, the AAA wants this work to be publicly available, expressing concern at the lack of detail provided in the government’s published analysis.

“Before a NVES is legislated, the AAA would like different vehicle buyers to be able to fully understand the positive and negative impacts of the standard on their future vehicle choices,” the submission says.

“Given the global lack of affordable and ready alternatives for existing popular vehicles, it is incumbent on the government to provide robust analysis showing how it sees its headline targets for light commercial vehicles being met.”

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