Great news! The Australian Government is introducing a New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES). Having a vehicle efficiency standard means that car manufacturers will need to meet high standards of engine efficiency for new cars that enter Australia. This will be good for our wallets (the government predicts that Australian’s will save at least $1,000 per car per year on the cost of petrol), and most importantly will drastically reduce our carbon emissions, shooting us forward on meeting our Net Zero goals!

The United States has had vehicle efficiency standards in place for fifty years. Currently, Russia and Australia are the last developed economies that don’t have a vehicle efficiency standard in place - that’s not great, so we are stoked to see the Australian Government put forward these options for a strong vehicle efficiency standard.

The Albanese Government’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standard will push car makers to give Australian motorists more choices of new cars, utes and vans that use less fuel and that have until now only been available to buyers in overseas markets. And for those who prefer to buy second hand cars, you should be able to have more choice of efficient engine and EV vehicles in the second hand market within 5 years of the standards coming into place. 

In 2022 our transport sector made up 19% of Australia’s emissions.

Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles alone contributed 60% of our transport emissions and over 10% of Australia’s total emissions. We know that petrol and diesel emissions are a huge contributor to global warming, and we think it's well beyond time for Australia to get on board with strong vehicle efficiency standards. 

Vehicle efficiency standards are common around the world to encourage vehicle suppliers to sell cleaner cars. Vehicle efficiency standards can help you by:

  • saving you money at the petrol pump
  • giving you more choice about the cars that you can buy
  • reducing transport emissions, improving the air that you and your family breathe.

The Australian Government is currently seeking feedback on three options for a vehicle efficiency standard: 

Option A would not provide a meaningful impact on total vehicle emissions - and vehicle lobbying groups are vying for this option because it means they can keep polluting. We need to show the government that we support strong action on vehicle efficiency standards so that we can meet our net zero targets - that's why it’s important that you put a submission in. 

Option B is the government's favoured standard that brings Australia in line with current international standards, this is a good option but we think there are key areas that still leave us lagging behind on significantly reducing our emissions. We believe that Australia can do better, and can get ahead on the need to dramatically reduce vehicle emissions. 

Option C is the strongest standard that would greatly reduce vehicle emissions, and would allocate strong financial penalties to car manufacturers who don’t fulfil their responsibility of creating more effective and efficient engines. It would also fast track our way to meeting our Net Zero targets! Us everyday motorists would also receive net billions in savings at the fuel pump through these strong vehicle efficiency standards. 

Let’s let the Government know that we want to see an innovative, forward thinking and effective standard that would help us access more efficient cars quicker, and will do the most to reduce our emissions. 

New Vehicle Efficiency Standards - Submission Guide

We have some tips here that you can use to help guide your submission - or copy and paste if you are lacking time.

This guide is for an individual submission.

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Q3. Please rank the proposed options in order of preference

We recommend the following ranking: 

Option C

Option B 

Option A 

Q4. Briefly, what are your reasons for your choice?


Delivering a strong and effective fuel efficiency standard for Australia’s light vehicle fleet is essential to drive down carbon pollution and cut the cost of living for Australians. The New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) should reflect that there is a dire need to meet our Net Zero targets as soon as possible. 

I believe that a mixture of Option B and Option C is the best choice for Australia to ensure we reduce CO2 emissions, preferably with the Option C target provided by the government’s impact analysis of 74 million tonnes by 2050. This will support the government to meet its Net Zero targets and allow space for other industries that face stronger challenges for transitioning to reduce their emissions. 

I also believe the NVES should prioritise a transition to all new car sales being zero emission vehicles by 2035 at the latest. I believe that cutting vehicle emissions is imperative to delivering cleaner air for better health, boosting national energy security, and improving access to greener cars for Australians as soon as possible, while supporting us to slow global warming and protect Australia.

I strongly support the key common features in options B and C as minimum starting points for unlocking better access to low and zero emissions vehicles as soon as possible. Primarily, I support and believe the following features be included in the NEVS:

SUVs should be considered passenger vehicles. Option C and B rightly include SUVs in the passenger vehicle category. There is no justification for a higher CO2 limit for a vehicle that is larger due to consumer preference, rather than for a genuine utility or commercial reason (which is covered by the LCV category).

The NVES should encourage lighter vehicles. The Government should consider lowering the break point for vehicles to 1800 kg or less, or better yet, eliminating the weight based adjustment altogether, to encourage the purchase of smaller, lighter vehicles.

Penalties should be substantial. The EU has a penalty of $197 per g/km (AUD equivalent) for exceeding their CO2/km target – to get close to that, the penalty proposed under option C should be adopted in Australia.

Loopholes should be ruled out. Ruling out supercredits and loopholes are an excellent feature of both B and C. Banking and trading of credits is acceptable if limited in scope – these should not be expanded beyond the 2 years suggested by Option C.

Emissions should be tested in real time. The Government should also implement real-world testing of vehicle emissions ( onboard fuel consumption monitoring)  to prevent manufacturers from producing laboratory testing which is inaccurate, as they have done in the past.

Q5. Do you support the Government's preferred option (Option B)?


Q6. If you wish to provide any further information, you can upload a submission

No need for additional information.