The ridiculed FCAI backs the government’s ‘bold’ push for electric cars

The umbrella organization representing Australia’s car brands, which has been accused of actively undermining the uptake of zero tailpipe cars, says it fully supports the ALP government’s “bold” plan for a national electric vehicle strategy.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), which is funded by Australia’s car brands and represents them in Canberra, was pilloried this month for setting a program to reduce fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions that is less demanding on its members is as the policy in Europe or USA US.

MORE: Australia’s car lobby accused of having carbon reduction plans

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delivered Recognition: car expert

It was absent from today’s EV Summit in Canberra, organized by the Electric Vehicle Council, Smart Energy Council and the Australia Institute, with speeches from Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm, Atlassian CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes and EU Ambassador Michael Pulch .

Also speaking was Climate Minister Chris Bowen, who launched the federal government’s national electric vehicle strategy with a discussion paper that was to include input from the automotive industry and other interest groups.

The core policy that needs to be addressed is the belated introduction of fuel efficiency standards and the application of a mandatory CO2 reduction scheme, which many in the automotive industry have long said is essential to unlocking a greater supply of electric vehicles.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said today the panel supports the positions taken and has done so for more than two years.

delivered Recognition: car expert

“This is the kind of bold action we’ve been looking for from our federal government and it’s an important step on our journey to supplying low-emission vehicles to Australian customers,” said Mr. Weber.

“We have been publicly advocating for a government mandated CO2 target for many years. This is a good day.”

She described the government’s position as “consistent with an approach outlined by the FCAI on July 24, 2020.”

At the time, the governing body stated: “FCAI strongly supports a comprehensive approach to tackling automotive emissions that includes fuel quality standards, the introduction of Euro 6 and the introduction of an ambitious but realistic, achievable and market-relevant CO2 standard.”

delivered Recognition: car expert

A much-quoted story in the Sydney Morning Herald recently accused the lobby of a “widespread secret campaign” to delay the rollout of electric vehicles and avoid the government’s desired 43% CO2 reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

However, the FCAI has been urging numerous governments to enact such a system for years, somewhat undermining the suggestion that it is trying to halt the introduction of lower-emission cars and encourage gluttons.

But there’s no argument that the FCAI’s voluntary CO2 reduction targets of 35 percent for cars and light SUVs by 2030 (to 98 grams per kilometer); and 26 percent cut for submarines, vans and heavy SUVs (to 143 g/km) is weak in the global context. Too weak for many.

Europe already requires new cars to emit an average of 95 g/km and vans 147 g/km – about what the FCAI requires Australia to emit in 2030. By the end of this decade, Europe wants a 55 percent reduction from today’s levels and zero emissions from new vehicles by 2035.

delivered Recognition: car expert

“The national-led collaborative approach, supported by state and territory governments and relevant stakeholders, will help develop a comprehensive strategy that encompasses the complexities of vehicles, infrastructure, taxation and incentives needed to meet our climate change goals are of vital importance,” said Mr. Weber opined.

“It is also crucial to ensure that all Australians are included and not excluded based on where they live and are financially able, and to ensure that aspirations match reality.”

MORE: Dumping Ground No More? Australian Government’s Affordable EV pushMORE: VW Group Australia claims to be a “leader” in the EV discussion The ridiculed FCAI backs the government’s ‘bold’ push for electric cars

James Brien

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