The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) must be shaking in its boots after the ALP’s announcement that it too wants to boost sales of electric cars and introduce stricter emissions controls.

In fact, the ALP wants electric cars to make up 50 per cent of total car sales in this country by 2030.

The Greens meanwhile have called for a 17 per cent “luxury” car tax on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

While the Coalition remains noticeably quiet, despite the looming Federal election.

FCAI’s Tony Weber has welcomed Labor’s environmental policy with a new focus on low emissions and electric vehicle targets, but adds these targets must be achievable.

He said the automotive industry had invested heavily in the development of new technology for battery electric, hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles — many of which are already available on the Australian market.

“The key is to implement achievable emissions targets, designed in consultation with industry, as part of the transport sector’s contribution to lower overall emissions.”

Weber pointed put a “pragmatic” approach was needed when dealing with Australia’s “unique” automotive market.

“It’s well known that Australians love their sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and light commercial vehicles (LCVs),” he said.

In fact, Australia’s best selling vehicle is the Toyota HiLux.

“Our market is made up of approximately two thirds SUVs and LCVs, and one third passenger vehicles (PVs).

“We need to have a realistic and stepped approach to the implementation of emissions targets,” he said.

A key part of tackling pollution will be tackling transport emissions, which make up almost 20 per cent of Australia’s emissions and one of the fastest growing sources of pollution, Labor says.

“Labor will implement Australia’s first national electric vehicle policy, setting a national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030 and introducing vehicle emissions standards to reduce pollution and make the cost of driving a car cheaper for consumers.”

Weber  said a well thought out introductory plan that includes tariff and tax relief, financial and non- financial incentives and the provision of comprehensive infrastructure will need to be implemented if the targets are to be achieved.

“The just-announced $200 million infrastructure fund will support these initiatives,” he said.

utes
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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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