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Who’s holding back electric cars in Australia? We’ve long known the answer – and it’s time to clear the road

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, John Quiggin, writes in The Conversation (10.8.22) about recent findings regarding barriers to the uptake of electric and low-emissions vehicles in Australia.

‘New analysis this week found strong fuel efficiency standards would have saved Australia A$5.9 billion in fuel costs and emissions equal to a year’s worth of domestic flights if the policy was adopted in 2015.

‘The finding, by think-tank the Australia Institute, puts further pressure on the new federal government to bring our fuel efficiency standards in line with Europe and other developed nations.

‘Unlike other comparable countries, Australia does not have fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles. On the face of it this is puzzling; aside from lower costs for motorists and fewer emissions, the policy would also decrease our reliance on imported oil.

‘But opposition from vested interests – including oil refineries and the car dealership industry – has held Australia back. The onus is now on the Albanese government to enact this obvious and long overdue policy which is crucial to the electric vehicle transition.

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