Australia, Electric Trucks, Transport News

Caravan industry calls for fair and balanced approach to electric vehicles

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia says it has major concerns about the recent new vehicle efficiency standard

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has called on the nation’s governments to provide a “sensible, fair and balanced approach” to electric vehicles and lower emissions.

Since September 2022, the association says it has seen the federal government look towards a low-emissions environment, whether it be through the national electric vehicle strategy or the new vehicle efficiency standard.

Now, the association says “the pursuit for a cleaner and more sustainable future is now at a crossroads if action isn’t taken”.

“Unfortunately, pursuing a cleaner and greener tomorrow has seen a sharp focus on vehicle emissions,” the association says.

“The push towards electrification has also meant a vehicle emissions scheme needs to be introduced to ensure the correct levers and instruments are in place to incentivise the market to sell electric vehicles.”

The association has responded to the new vehicle efficiency standard which is set to be introduced for all new car sales from 2025.

“While on face value this approach seems reasonable, the policies are silent on factors that could see both areas go disastrously wrong, not just for caravanning but also for regional and rural travel in general,” the association says.

“This is why we have been amplifying our engagement with the federal government, government departments, vehicle manufacturers, the fuel industry, peak motoring bodies and the regulators to ensure not only that the caravan industry remains top of mind, but also a sensible, fair, and balanced approach to EVs and lower emissions is taken to ensure that our industry and our customers are not disadvantaged or left behind in the transition to a low-emissions future.”

Part of the caravanning industry association’s advocacy work has included providing written submissions to the government.

The association’s key areas of concern include a lack of viable infrastructure for regional areas, supply chain and scalability, electric vehicle global constraints and a lack of appropriate vehicles available to tow caravans for longer distances.

“There’s a high degree of concern that the current and emerging technology of EVs can’t yet provide the performance and range that travellers require,” the association says.

“The introduction of the standard means our concerns are heightened due to the potential for alternate fuel disincentives and demonisation, cost increases and reduced availability of vehicles suitable to tow caravans.”

The association says its concerns remain that the standard will impose financial penalties on car manufacturers that do not meet the fuel efficiency targets, which may result in higher prices or a lower supply of vehicles suitable for caravan and camping travellers.

“We also worry that the NVES will create a negative perception and stigma around petrol or diesel vehicles, which may affect the resale value and demand,” the association says.

“We are not opposed to a low-emissions environment or electrification. Still, we believe there is no clear path forward for regional dispersal and the caravan industry under the current policies.

“We will continue to work strongly with the government and other peak automotive associations to ensure an outcome for an industry that secures a strong and viable future.”

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