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Fuel efficiency standards weakened in response to producers

Western Plains App

Laura Williams

30 March 2024, 2:33 PM

Fuel efficiency standards weakened in response to producersWhile some stakeholders deem the Toyota Landcruiser a necessary workhorse, others say that Toyota should modernise to reduce emissions.

The Australian Government has conceded to campaigners demands in the wake of the new fuel efficiency standards for Australian vehicles, easing the standards for some vehicles, including utes and vans. 

The fuel efficiency standards were introduced to advance Australia’s emissions standing, as one of the few countries without strong regulations on car emissions. 

As part of the standards, car manufacturers will be required to meet certain emission standards, however as of this week, those standards will be lessened for heavy vehicles that can’t be avoided, including 4WDs in agriculture. 

The changes to the legislation will include recategorising some 4WDs from passenger car to light commercial vehicle, adjusting the weight-based relative emissions limits to recognise heavier vehicles emit more, and delaying the enforcement date for manufacturers to comply to 1 July 2025. 

National Farmers’ Federation President David Jochinke was pleased the Federal Government had listened to producers’ concerns, easing the targets set for utes and some 4WDs. 

“Farmers support emissions reduction but not in a way that compromises the tools of the trade farmers use every day,” Mr Jochinke said. 

Despite supporting the changes, Mr Jochinke is still concerned about what the true impact might look like for producers. 

“The NFF will be keeping both eyes on the road as this progresses to understand the impacts on fleet and make sure it doesn’t see price increases for farmers.”


“Should this legislation come to pass, we expect the policy to be reviewed as it rolls out to ensure the new timeframes remain feasible and the market keeps in step.” 

Not all happy

While the compromise should alleviate pressures on producers while still being able to introduce the regulations, the Smart Energy Council (SEC) said that the weakened standards allows manufacturers to get away with poor standards. 

“The Smart Energy Council is disappointed that the proposed New Vehicle Efficiency Standards have been weakened to include some SUVs in the light commercial vehicle category, with the emissions reduction trajectory also weakened,” SEC Chief Executive John Grimes said.  


“Calling a Toyota Land Cruiser a light commercial vehicle does not pass the school drop off test.”

Rather than adjust our standards, Mr Grimes suggested the responsibility should lie with manufacturers. 

“Toyota is Kodak on wheels – a company that has failed to modernise, wanting us all to pay the price for their poor business decisions and lack of action.” 

Under the changes, if implemented the new standards are expected to reduce emissions from new passenger vehicles by more than 60 per cent by 2030, and roughly halve the emissions of new light commercial vehicles over the same period.