The Australian light vehicle industry supports a mandated CO2 emissions target for new cars. It is working with the Government to establish a CO2 target that takes into account the realities of the Australian market and will produce real fuel consumption savings for Australians.

While the CO2 contribution of annual sales of new passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles is low (less than one percent of Australia’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions), vehicle manufacturers selling light vehicles in Australia recognise they have a role to play in emissions reductions and are committed to developing and delivering new technologies that reduce CO2 emissions in their vehicles.

Welcoming the Federal Government’s Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper, FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said the FCAI will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure a thorough understanding of the Australian automotive industry. He said he was pleased the Government recognised the inter-relationship of fuels, pollutant emissions and CO2 emissions.

“The automotive industry’s continued commitment to introduce new technology for new motor vehicles is achieving continued emissions reductions in Australia,” Mr Weber said.

“To make further reductions from private road transport, it is important the Government considers a range of policy matters, including fuel quality, infrastructure and incentives for the take-up of low-emissions vehicles, and driver behaviour. I am pleased the Government has recognised in its discussion paper the need to consider all of these factors before a target can be determined.”

Mr Weber noted that emerging vehicle technology, including hydrogen and electric vehicles, presents another opportunity for the achievement of further emissions reductions in Australia in the longer term.

“To effectively introduce a range of low-emissions vehicles, it is important the industry and governments work together to provide the appropriate infrastructure. In countries such as Japan, Government-led consumer incentives and infrastructure investment played significant roles in the uptake of vehicles with these technologies,” he said.

“CO2 emissions from light vehicles can also be reduced through improved driving habits. Public education and awareness raising may provide drivers with techniques to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Such education may also improve road safety.”

Mr Weber highlighted a recent presentation to the Government by global automotive industry research experts IHS Automotive, which shows emissions reductions policies around the world and which highlights that Australia needs its own solution for emissions reductions.

“IHS Automotive has presented the facts and realities of emissions reductions in the automotive industry globally. When looking at the facts, they state that no ‘cookie cutter’ approach can work. Australia is not Europe or the United States and has its own unique market, consumers and driving needs.”

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