New targets for importers

Adopting Australian standards to result in a slower drop of emissions goals than set by the previous government.
Posted on 09 July, 2024
New targets for importers

The emissions target for imported light passenger vehicles will be 103g of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre in 2027, up from the previous goal of 63.3gCO2/km, after the government announced a shake-up of the clean car standard (CCS).

As for light commercial vehicles, the changes mean the target for those units in 2026 will now be 207gCO2/km instead of 116.3gCO2/km.

Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport, has announced the CCS is being re-aligned with Australia’s standards in order to strike a balance between cutting transport emissions and ensuring a supply of clean vehicles.

The previous New Zealand government had set CCS targets for new and used vehicles out to the end of 2027, but those were criticised by industry associations for dropping off too steeply.

Under the changes revealed by Brown on July 2, the goals for importers of light vehicles will be shifting to match the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) that comes into force in Australia at the start of 2025.

Brown says commercial vehicles will align with the system across the ditch from 2026 and passenger vehicles from 2027.

The Australian federal government passed the NVES Bill in May this year to cap emissions from newly imported vehicles and provide the framework for the transition to a low and zero-emissions future for the automotive industry.

Targets for light passenger vehicles coming into Australia will be 158gCO2/km from 2025 and then fall each subsequent year to 131g, 103g and 76g before reaching 65g in 2029.

The goal for light commercials next year is set at 240gCO2/km. It will decrease on an annual basis to 207g, 175g and 144g and then be 131g in 2029.

Before the amendments to the CCS were announced, importers in New Zealand were facing a target for passenger vehicles of 112.6gCO2/km in 2025. This was scheduled to drop to 84.5g and 63.3g in the following two years.

Light commercials had a goal of 155gCO2/km next year, falling to 116.3g and 87.2g in 2026 and 2027 respectively.

The current 2024 settings for the CCS are 133.9gCO2/km for passenger cars and 201.9gCO2/km for light commercial vehicles.

The government is likely to adjust the CCS targets for both vehicle categories before they fall into sync with Australia’s standards after a bill passed last month that enables it to change targets for the scheme under secondary legislation, rather than having to go out to public consultation.