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Federal government announces adjusted new vehicle efficiency standard

The new and updated efficiency standard includes the recategorising of certain 4WD models to light commercial vehicles and a new emissions limit

The federal government has announced that Australian motorists will soon be able to choose from a wider range of more efficient, modern vehicles and be able to save at the bowser with the introduction of its updated new vehicle efficiency standard.

Legislation for the standard has been introduced, with the federal government saying the standard will reduce emissions from new passenger vehicles by more than 60 per cent by 2030 and will roughly halve the emissions of new light commercial vehicles over the same period.

The federal government has announced that improvements have been made to the standard following the consultation process, including recategorising a limited number of 4WDs from passenger car to light commercial vehicles, such as the Toyota Landcruiser and Nissan Patrol, and smoothing the emissions trajectory for light commercial vehicles.

The new standard also includes an adjusted weight-based relative emissions limit, known as the break point, to recognise that heavier vehicles emit more, while also staging implementation to enable the preparation and testing of essential data reporting capabilities.

To ensure the government gets the implementation right, the scheme commences on January 1, 2025, with manufacturers not able to begin earning credits or penalties until July 1, 2025.

The new vehicle efficiency standard targets passenger vehicles, catching up to comparable economies by the end of the decade.

Along with Russia, the federal government says Australia has for too long been one of the only advanced economies in the world without a standard. As a result, the government says Australian families are spending more on fuel than they need to be.

The federal government has closely consulted with a broad range of stakeholders over the past year and engaged with the more than 9,000 submissions made throughout the latest consultation period.

“The standard will give car makers an incentive to send to Australia their most efficient vehicles, while ensuring Australians have access to the range of vehicles they need for work and leisure,” the federal government says.

“To help accelerate the transition, the government will provide $60 million to boost EV charging at Australian dealerships, under the Driving the Nation fund.

“This is the right package of measures for Australia. It will transform Australia’s vehicle fleet to save families money, people will still be able to buy the vehicles they know and love while getting access to the safest, most modern, efficient cars.”

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