Federal energy and climate minister Chris Bowen has defended the delays in announcing the details of the proposed fuel efficiency standards, saying new consultation is needed to get the design right.

Australia is the only developed country, apart from Russia, to not have fuel emissions standards, a failure that is blamed for the lack of choice and availability of EVs, an extra $500 a year of fuel costs for fossil cars, and increased health impacts.

Bowen told RenewEconomy on the sidelines of the Smart Energy conference in Sydney on Wednesday that he had read every one of the many submissions to the government’s consultations on the fuel standards.

“Let me just sort of cut to the chase and and say we had many many submissions on the need for fuel efficiency standards. I read them all,” Bowen said..

“Not many went to design, hence the need for another six weeks of consultation to get the design right. Many submissions called for fuel efficiency standards, only one or two had any real thoughts about how we should design them.

“They are complicated to design. Hence we have felt the need to call for specific submissions on the detailed design not Should we do it or don’t do it.

“We have to get this right so another six weeks of consultation is a small price to pay after 10 years of denial to get this right.

“I know some people have said and I may have heard it said on your podcast, Giles, that we should have had a detailed design to start with.  With respect. I strongly disagree.

“You can’t have detailed design when you haven’t had much feedback about that detailed design. We have to get that right so that six weeks of consultation will be important. I encourage people to put in submissions on detailed design.”

During the transport session at the Smart Energy Conference, independent MP Allegra Spender called on the federal government to get out of the slow lane on EV policy.

Commenting on the recent release of the National Electric Vehicle Strategy, Spender said that although the NEVS is a step in the right direction it lacks a lot of detail.

On fuel efficiency standards Spender said: “It was not a policy Labor took to the election. But it is a change the community wanted – and something that independents like myself have championed,”

“But the devil is in the detail – and nearly a year into Labor’s term in office, we don’t have it,” said Spender.

“Despite a glossy front cover and some nice graphics, there’s no concrete proposal in the strategy about what an Australian fuel efficiency standard will look like. Instead of the tangible ambition of places like the Europe and the US – we have further delay.”

Submissions for Australia’s fuel efficiency standards are due by the end of the month. The federal government says it hopes to have legislation in place by the end of the year.

Extracted in full from: Bowen says more time needed on fuel emissions standard “to get design right” (thedriven.io)