By the time you read this article a parliamentary committee will have reported back to the Senate on a Greens party Bill regarding fuel efficiency in new cars.

The Motor Vehicle Standards (Cheaper Transport) Bill 2014, introduced by then Greens leader Christine Milne in June 2014, was referred to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee in August for inquiry and report by 25 November 2015.

The policy rationale of the Bill, as stated in the explanatory memorandum, “seeks to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars purchased in Australia to reduce costs to motorists, reduce emissions into our atmosphere, promote strong trade ties, reduce dependence on imported oil and provide future jobs for the automotive parts and services industry”.

AADA does not support this Bill and will continue to advocate on behalf of the franchised new vehicle Dealer network. AADA provided a submission to the Committee on 18 September, raising a number of concerns with the Bill. AADA believes the policy rationale of the Bill is broad, ambitious, ambiguous and contradictory. AADA drew the Committee’s attention to a lack of consultation by the promoters of the Bill with the automotive industry in Australia.

AADA criticised the poor drafting of the Bill, which would include in the definition of a motor vehicle, categories for motorcycles and mopeds. It is also unclear whether the Bill will impose emission standards and apply charges for non-compliance on the authorised dealer network in Australia rather than the manufacturer of the product.
Additionally, AADA advised the Committee that the imposition of emissions standards in Australia by direct reference to EU or US standards should be treated with caution, as the methodology and assumptions on which those standards are based are specific to those countries.

The Bill aims to set carbon emissions standards for new passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles from 2017 (phased-in) to align with the existing EU 2020 standard by 2023. The commencement of the vehicle carbon emissions standard is intended to coincide with the cessation of automotive manufacturing in Australia.
The vehicle carbon emissions standard will apply to a person who sells 1,000 or more new vehicles during a year and applies to passenger and light commercial vehicles that are manufactured in or imported into Australia and are sold as new vehicles during that year. The person must pay a charge for the year if the average specific emissions of CO2 of the chargeable vehicles exceeds the vehicle carbon emissions standard.

The vehicle carbon emissions standard will, from 2017 to 2020, be 130g CO2/km and beyond that 95kg CO2/km. The amount of charge will depend on the extent to which a vehicle’s CO2 emission exceeds the vehicle emission standard.

For vehicles exceeding the standard by more than 1g CO2/km but no more than 2g CO2/km the charge will be $7 + [(Excess – 1g CO2/km) x $20 per g CO2/km)]. Exceeding the standard between 2g to 3g CO2/km will result in a charge of $27 + [(Excess – 2g CO2/km) x $35 per g CO2/km)]. Finally, exceeding the vehicle emission standard by more than 3g will be charged at $62 + [(Excess – 3g CO2/km) x $135 per g CO2/km)].

AADA awaits the release of the Senate Committee report.

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