A leading business group has urged Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen to exempt larger four-wheel drives and some utes from his proposed new vehicle efficiency standard, amid warnings the ambitious targets will increase the cost of cars for farmers, tradies and emer­gency services.

With submissions closing on Monday night for the Albanese government’s plan to cut vehicle emissions by 60 per cent in five years, several motoring and business groups made their demands of Labor public as they lashed what they said was a “reckless” and “heavy-handed” model.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimated the fines imposed on carmakers of $100 for each gram of carbon dioxide per kilometre by which their fleet exceeds the proposed ambitious targets would add $2300 to the cost of a vehicle imported into Australia.

The cost would increase when taxes, retail margins and other charges were applied.

“The proposed NVES adopts a heavy-handed regulatory approach that is likely to substantially increase the cost of vehicles to Australian consumers,” the ACCI submission states.

“It applies significant penalties to the vehicle manufacturer, which will be passed on to the domestic automotive dealer and ultimately to the consumer, with sharp increases in the retail price of a number of vehicles.

“If the government wishes to align the NVES with the US fuel efficiency standard, then it should apply the same weight load exemption as the US – 3.6 metric tonnes. This would exempt larger four-wheel drives and some utes from NVES, ensuring farmers, trades people, utility and emergency services have access to the vehicles needed to support their business and operations.”

Volkswagen Group Australia, the country’s biggest provider of European passenger and light commercial vehicles, supported fuel efficiency targets similar to those of the US or EU but cautioned the government’s model could not be achieved without flexibilities built in.

VGA asked Labor to consider “super credits” for battery EVs and plug-in hybrids, in order for sales of environmentally friendly cars to count towards the sales of internal combustion engines.

Bigger SUVs and four-wheel drives like the Toyota LandCruiser Prado should also be re-categorised under the less-stringent light commercial vehicles targets.

The Australian Automotive Dealer Association said just 25 per cent of passenger vehicles would comply with the government’s proposed target next year, based on new light vehicles for sale on the Australian market at the moment, dropping to just over 10 per cent by 2029.

It was worse for light commercial vehicles, with 30 per cent of vehicles expected to achieve the 2025 target before “the number of vehicles which fall under the standard collapses in the second year”.


Extracted in full from:  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/acci-says-labor-should-follow-us-and-exempt-larger-fourwheel-drives-and-some-utes-from-new-vehicle-efficiency-standard/news-story/1d721468755d968813852f5303ea758a