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Changes for fuel efficiency laws

Australian government waters down emissions targets for light commercials ahead of scheme starting in 2025.
Posted on 28 March, 2024
Changes for fuel efficiency laws

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has welcomed changes by the Australian federal government to the new vehicle efficiency standards (NVES) and describes them as a step in the right direction.

The Albanese government introduced a bill to parliament on March 27 to create legislation, similar to New Zealand’s clean car standard, that will cap the emissions from newly imported vehicles.

It reveals targets will be set at 141g of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre for light passenger vehicles and 210gC02/km for light commercials in 2025.

These goals will fall annually and by 2029 be 58gCO2/km for passenger vehicles and 110gCO2/km for utes and vans.

While the figures for light passenger vehicles are unchanged from the government’s original plan, the bill has watered down the standards first proposed for light commercials from 199gCO2/km next year and 81gCO2/km by 2029.

Other changes include recategorising a number of SUV models – including the Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford Everest, Isuzu MUX, Nissan Patrol and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – from passenger vehicles to the light commercial category, reports the Guardian.

The NVES will come into effect on January 1, 2025, but the government has pushed out the effective start date of its credit and penalties system to July 1 to “give industry more time to adjust”.

The government claims the legislation will reduce emissions from new passenger vehicles by more than 60 per cent by 2030 and roughly halve the emissions of new light commercial vehicles over the same period. 

The FCAI, which represents the new-vehicle sector across the ditch, is pleased at the changes following a period of consultation but says it still has concerns about the impending challenges facing industry and motorists.

It adds it will review the draft legislation in detail to understand the potential impacts for industry and consumers.

“We call on the government to release the full legislation and modelling that forms the basis for their policy,” it says.