Federal future fuels strategy cautiously welcomed by industry

The Federal Government’s $250 million ‘Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy’ has been acknowledged by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries as an encouraging step.

The strategy announced today includes $178 million to support the development of electric vehicle and hydrogen infrastructure.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said the Federal funding would promote the uptake of low-emission vehicles.

“This move from the Federal Government will assist in providing the infrastructure Australia urgently needs to support more electric vehicles on our roads,” said Weber.

The FCAI, however, believes the Federal Government has missed an opportunity to apply a vehicle emissions standard that will set a clear target for addressing the objective of emissions reduction in the Australian economy and provide real momentum to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions.

“Governments should focus on setting targets, not trying to pick winners through specific technology,” said Weber.

“The availability of EVs in Australia is increasing as car manufacturers respond to growing demand, however the reality is that they still account for less than one per cent of total vehicle sales year to date,” he said.

According to Weber, this means the Government’s target for EVs of 30 per cent of new vehicle sales by 2030 is extremely optimistic.

“We strongly urge the Government to adopt the FCAI’s existing voluntary emissions standard which sets a clear pathway towards lower CO2 emissions across the entire passenger and light commercial fleet through to 2030,“ he said.

“Around the world, emissions targets are a clear sign of a government’s intent to reduce emissions and sends a positive signal to automotive manufacturers to provide more electric-powered vehicles to those markets. This is exactly what is needed in Australia.”

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