News - General News Emissions
More pressure on government to tackle emissions
Plugged in: FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said that the debate around alternative fuel technologies has not matured in Australia.
FCAI will continue discussions with government in 2016 for support of green car tech
7 January 2016
THE head of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says the peak
body will continue to push the federal government for better support of
environmentally friendly vehicles in Australia in a bid to further reduce fleet
Speaking at the announcement of the 2015 new-vehicle sales results, FCAI chief
executive Tony Weber said Australia's automotive sector made up a tiny portion
of overall emissions and praised car-makers for their commitment to green
“New passenger cars, SUVs and light-commercial vehicles contribute less than
one per cent of Australia's total annual greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
“While the contribution is low, vehicle manufacturers selling light vehicles in
Australia are committed to developing and delivering new technology that reduce
“Their commitment shows in the average year-on-year reduction of 2.4 per cent
over the past decade. Cumulatively that is a more than a 20 per cent
improvement in a decade.”
Mr Weber detailed measures that could have an impact on emissions and said it
would continue to have discussions with the federal government about emissions
“It's also important to understand that further reductions require a
whole-of-government approach, and the FCAI will work with the government to
ensure all areas of vehicle emissions are understood.
“The whole-of-government approach needs to include policies on vehicle
technology, fuel quality, alternative fuels and energy platforms, driver
behaviour, infrastructure improvements to reduce congestion, price signals and
reducing the age of the in-service fleet.
“The FCAI and its members are working with the government on this matter and
recently attended the first meeting of the government's ministerial forum that
is undertaking a whole-of-government approach to addressing vehicle emissions.”
Mr Weber said the adoption of vehicle-to-vehicle technology could also help
reduce overall vehicle emissions.
“Infrastructure improvements are critical. This is why we see Cooperative
Intelligent Transport Systems as so important. I have seen figures that (show)
if Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems were brought into the market, you
could get a 10 per cent reduction in emissions. That’s quite remarkable. Not
only to say what it does for safety and congestion.”
Mr Weber said Australia was trailing some other developed nations in terms of
supporting alternative fuel technology, but added that there would be more
discussions with government this year.
Left: FCAI chief executive Tony Weber.
“I think the debate hasn’t matured in this country as it has in some other
countries in the world. So I think this is what we are going to go through in
2016, we are going to go through the entire debate with commonwealth government
and state and territories.
“You do not get the enormous gains that are potentially out there unless there
is a contribution from the government and a change in the environment in which
we operate in. That includes things like refuelling stations. You need to have
transport that works for people. And therefore you need the infrastructure and
all its many guises in place to make it work.”
In the wake of the Volkswagen Group diesel emissions cheating scandal, some
consumer groups and automotive manufacturers – including PSA Peugeot Citroen –
have called for real-world CO2 emissions and fuel economy testing to replace
the existing laboratory tests.
Mr Weber said the FCAI and its members support the introduction of new testing
protocol, but cautioned that it must be uniform.
“The members I have spoken to are very happy to take that approach. The problem
is you need to have an apples-for-apples comparison and the laboratory test
gives you that. You need to have that because what you want is consumers to go
and look at vehicle A and they will compare that to vehicle B and C and they
will make an informed judgement about its environmental performance. Fuel
efficiency is a big issue for consumers, there is no doubt about that.”
When asked whether the VW scandal will have a further impact on diesel
passenger car sales in Australia, Mr Weber changed tack and highlighted the
alternative technologies that are heading to market soon.
“I think there is a whole raft of technologies in the pipeline and also in the
marketplace at the moment. Those technologies have different advantages and
consumers actually look at that and are making decisions.
“As an organisation we are technology neutral because we leave it to our
members to actually work out what they think is the best product to bring into
market. I think this is going to be an interesting area and I think it will
evolve quickly in the next few years. Which way it evolves I just do not know.”
Sales of diesel passenger vehicles dropped in Australia last year, with private
diesel volumes dropping by 24 per cent compared with 2014, while business
purchases were down by almost 20 per cent.
Share with your friends
Motor industry news
GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.
General news categories
Research cars by brand