Joint statement calls for mandatory fuel efficiency standards

More than 100 elected council officials have signed a joint statement calling on the federal government to deliver mandatory fuel efficiency standards to drive up the supply of affordable electric vehicles.

The Climate Council’s Jennifer Rayner

A joint statement with 120 signatures released on Wednesday says local government is doing all it can to switch to EVs but the sector is being hamstrung by lack of supply and strong federal policy.

It says implementing mandatory fuel efficiency standards will secure a pipeline of affordable lower and zero emissions vehicles for council fleets, as well as boosting their presence in the community and private sector.

The standards must be at least equivalent to settings in other major markets and be reviewded and updated every five years, the coucillors say.

“We urge the Federal Government to support our access to electric vehicles by legislating strong fuel efficiency standards,” the joint statement says.

“World-class fuel efficiency standards would bring more low and zero emissions vehicles to Australian shores. This will accelerate the transition for councils – and with fleet vehicles entering the secondhand market after three to five years, this ensures communities have access to the best technology at a fair price.”

Limited options

Andrea Metcalf

One of the signatories, City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Andrea Metcalf, says the City aims to transition more than 100 light fleet to electric vehicles by 2030 but is being held back by the limited options and overly-high prices.

Meanwhile, the deputy mayor of WA’s City of Rockingham, Hayley Edwards, says local government can play a key role in driving the sustainability narrative.

“Local governments and communities are at the heart of dealing with and responding to impacts of climate change, floods, bushfires and rising sea levels.

“Local governments need to be proactive in this space and are essential in promoting a whole community transition.”

Unlocking supply

The statement was convened by the Climate Council and the Cities Power Partnership.

Head of advocacy at the Climate Council Dr Jennifer Rayner said With the average government fleet vehicle entering the secondhand market after three to five years, councils can play a critical role in supplying affordable EVs to their communities.

“Among the Cities Power Partnership’s 180 members, three-quarters have at least one EV in their fleets, but many are keen to go entirely electric. Cheaper EVs will be the key to this.

“For communities to reap the benefits of cleaner, cheaper-to-run vehicles, it is essential the Federal government implements fuel efficiency standards to supercharge our EV supply.”

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