Australia is set to promote new vehicle pollution standards nationally to reduce carbon emissions and encourage electric vehicle adoption.
EV uptake has been slow in Australia compared to other developed economies, with about only 3.8% of cars sold last year being electric, in contrast with 15% in Britain and 17% in Europe respectively. New cars in the country use about 40% more fuel than in the European Union, and 20% more than in the United States.
Australia is the only developed country to follow Russia in introducing fuel efficiency standards. Leading this trend will not only encourage more governments to follow suit, but also guide automakers to increase production of electric and “no-emission” vehicles.
“Fuel-efficient and electric vehicles are cleaner and cheaper to run – today’s announcement is a win-win for motorists,” commented Chris Bowen, the Energy Minister of Australia.
The country faces an additional challenge that although demand for EVs is growing, manufacturers are not increasing supply to meet this demand. Government-enforced regulations would help to identify the value of EVs for automakers.
Another pain point is a lack of charging infrastructure to support more electric vehicles hitting the roads. Australia has about 83,000 EVs being driven across the country, with only 4,900 public chargers located at less than 2,400 sites, as of December last year.
“We’re way behind the rest of the world again. We are fixing that. We’ve got a policy of putting in a fast charger once every 150 kilometres on the highway. I’ll be saying more about that pretty soon,” Bowen concluded.