Australia becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for polluting cars as government delays signing on to international standards

Australia is becoming a “dumping ground” for extra harmful and polluting cars, one transport minister warns, as the federal government has not adopted international emissions standards.

More than 80 per cent of the worldwide automobile market now follows ‘Euro 6’ car emission standards, together with Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, China, India and Mexico.

But Australia has resisted signing up to the standards, which might require extra stringent restrictions on pollution in petrol, and require new cars to emit far much less particulate matter than presently allowed.

Even if the government signed on right now, it could be years earlier than the nation was prepared.

Car producers say that has made it tough to promote their greatest autos in Australia, which require higher high quality gasoline.

‘A dumping floor’ for much less environment friendly, expensive, polluting cars

In a submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry into street security, ACT Transport Minister Chris Steel warned the refusal to undertake Euro 6 standards was not solely dangerous for the surroundings, but additionally endangered street customers.

“[It has] led to Australia becoming a dumping ground for manufacturers of less efficient, costly and polluting vehicles,” Mr Steel stated.

“Vehicles which comply with the latest emissions standards also generally incorporate a range of modern safety features, so the increased uptake of these vehicles would deliver both environmental and safety benefits.”

In October final 12 months, the Infrastructure Department examined the prices and advantages of Australia signing up to fashionable standards, and located there could be “significant benefits” to doing so.

The division stated an estimated 620 Australians died in 2015 due to transport-related air air pollution, equal to greater than half the nationwide street toll, and which price the economic system about $9.2 billion. 

car exhaust
Australia permits much more polluting petrols than most nations, that are incompatible with probably the most environment friendly, most secure cars.(David Paul Morris/Getty Images, file photograph: AFP)

It additionally warned that the lag in adopting extra stringent standards was main to much less superior cars being out there for Australia’s automobile market.

“Manufacturers have already expressed concerns that our vehicle emissions standards are making it increasingly difficult to convince their global parent companies that next generation engine technologies, such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids or vehicles fitted with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and intelligent transport systems (ITS), should be allocated to the Australian market,” the division wrote. 

A spokesman for federal Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce stated the government was presently contemplating whether or not to undertake Euro 6 standards.

“The government is currently undertaking a review to consider whether Australia should adopt the Euro 6 standards for light vehicles and Euro VI standards for heavy vehicles,” the spokesman stated.

“Mr Steel’s assertion that the federal government has refused to implement the Euro VI standard in Australia is incorrect.”

Petrol issues block superior cars from Australian market

One of the boundaries to Australia’s adoption of stricter emissions standards is the nation’s lack of high quality petrol.

Australian petrols can have 15 instances as a lot sulphur as the utmost regulated quantity in different developed nations, as properly as extra aromatics such as benzene — making it the worst amongst OECD nations, in accordance to the Infrastructure Department.

Manufacturers have stated higher high quality petrols have to be in place earlier than they’ll meet Euro 6 standards in Australia.

And if these standards cannot be met, then producers should revert to putting in older expertise or withdrawing cars from the market all collectively.

Car makers have additionally stated government coverage is among the key causes extra inexpensive electrical cars aren’t out there in Australia.

The ACT Transport Minister has submitted that because the federal government has lately dedicated to enhancing gasoline high quality, now could be the time for Australia to catch up.

“Consideration should be given to mandating at least Euro 6 standards for carbon dioxide emissions on new vehicles as soon as possible,” Mr Steel stated.

“I also note that the European Commission is going even further planning for the introduction of Euro 7 standards by 2025.”

Refusal to signal on will shrink automobile market

Professor Danny Samson, an automotive trade analyst on the University of Melbourne, stated native producers as soon as held again Australian standards, as their extra “old-fashioned” expertise brought on inertia.

But with no native trade anymore, he stated there was little excuse for Australia not to undertake the standards.

“Some of those excuses might have been partially reasonable when we had a domestic vehicle industry,” Professor Samson stated.

“Now that we don’t … why haven’t we accelerated our standards and requirements along the lines of fuel efficiency and emissions that Europe is requiring?

With only a small market, Professor Samson said manufacturers would be unlikely to make specialised cars to uniquely suit Australia, and instead the country would be left out.

And with many car makers going electric, Professor Samson said the country risked falling further behind.

“Ford, GM [General Motors], Mercedes and even Rolls Royce have now introduced timetables to go absolutely electrical, however our government is sitting on its fingers,” he stated.

A car in black wrapping with graphic text written across it idles in an urban location.
Rolls Royce recently announced it would release its first fully electric car in 2023, with plans for its fleet to be fully electric by 2030.(Rolls Royce Motors)

Mr Steel noted Australian consumers had access to 31 electric vehicle models in 2020, while those in the UK had access to 130.

He pointed to it as one example of how consumers were being limited by policy inaction.

“Until the standards change, Australians will expertise greater car working prices, poorer well being outcomes and our transport will proceed to drive our emissions up,” Mr Steel told the ABC.

Professor Samson said the timeline for adopting Euro 6 could be shortened if the government was committed.

“We may incentivise the modifications that want to be achieved with gasoline high quality, and I feel that it may positively be achieved inside 5 years, or much more aggressively than that.”

The federal government has agreed to implement higher petrol high quality standards from 2027, that are required earlier than Euro 6 for gentle autos will be mandated in Australia.

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