The Australian government announced a plan to lay out new regulations targeting vehicle carbon emissions to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs), as reported by Reuters on August 19. According to the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Bowen, the government will issue a discussion paper for consultation in September, which will focus on boosting EV usage, improving affordability, and devising new fuel efficiency standards. Bowen also expressed concerns that, for a lack of fuel efficiency standards, Australia could be a dumping ground for dirtier and less efficient vehicles, which cannot be sold in other markets subject to advanced energy efficiency and emission rules.
More than 80% of the global automobile market, including Europe, the US, Japan, India, and China, adopts ‘Euro 6’ vehicle emission standards, which Australia refused to follow because these standards require new cars to emit far less particulate matter than currently allowed. The lagging environmental rules make EVs and low-emission cars hard to compete with dirtier and less efficient vehicles in Australia. Statistically, only 2% of the cars sold in Australia are electric, while the proportion is 15% in Britain and 17% in Europe. On July 19, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) announced a ban on selling new fossil fuel-burning cars from 2035 to facilitate the transition to zero-emission cars. The move makes it the first Australian jurisdiction to explicit the date for the end of sales of new petrol cars.