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New vehicle emissions policy drives wedge between manufacturers, industry bodies

Newly proposed laws aimed at promoting the uptake of emission-friendly cars have left Australians polarised, with EV manufactures and industry bodies butting heads, and regional Australians fearing an “incredibly bad” outcome. 

Assistant Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwaite says the Coalition “needs to sort out” their division around energy policy.

Mr Thistlethwaite’s comments come as Opposition Leader Peter Dutton is expected to outline the Coalition’s nuclear energy policy before the May budget.

This follows their Dunkley by-election loss, with the Coalition expected to focus their attacks on the government’s net-zero strategy.

“You’ve got Matt Canavan and Barnaby Joyce saying we should pull out of net zero by 2050.

“If that is the case then the Coalition should be upfront with the Australian people because that changes completely the trajectory of where you’re going in terms of energy policy.”

Tesla made the sensational move on Thursday to drop its membership with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) – the peak representative body for car manufacturers – over “demonstrably false” claims it made about a new government policy aimed at boosting the uptake of EVs.

The Elon Musk-owned company accused FCAI of misleading consumers with suggestions that manufacturers would be forced to sell vehicles at exorbitant prices once the government’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) was legislated.

On Friday, Chinese EV brand Polestar followed in Tesla’s footsteps by also quitting the FCAI over similar reasons.

Elon Musk’s Tesla quit the national motoring lobby this week over its “deceptive” campaigning of a new vehicle emissions standard. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Tesla and Polestar both claim the FCAI is pursuing to erode public trust in the government’s emission reduction policy by exerting control over competition in the market and foreshadowing how manufacturers will determine prices of their cars.

The companies say the national motoring lobby has skewed the government’s NVES policy by implying it will lead to fuel-run cars becoming much more expensive and electric cars becoming significantly cheaper.

In response, the FCAI has maintained that the emission reduction standard will drive up the cost of petrol cars and utes by thousands of dollars despite having a positive intention to combat climate change.

Speaking to Sky News Australia on Friday, Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce criticised the scheme for being rushed and not taking into consideration the thousands of Australians in regional areas it would leave worse off.

“What we’re seeing quite clearly here is that we just don’t have the fuel, we don’t have the vehicles, we don’t have people to sell the vehicles, and it’s going to cost more,” the New England local said.

Australia is one of the only advanced global economies without a legislated policy on vehicle carbon emissions. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

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“It’s all round an incredibly bad idea for us, like most of these ideas that emanate from inner-suburban areas.

“You probably have people with the money and with the capacity to get access there, but not here in regional Australia. We’ve got to work with what we’ve got, and we’ve got to work with what works and not what Mr (Energy Minister Chris) Bowen dreams up.”

The NVES scheme, if passed through parliament, will take effect from January 2025.

It will place an emissions cap across all new cars sold in Australia, which will require companies to meet a per kilometre carbon emission target, averaged across the number of units sold in a year.

Manufacturers will still be able to see petrol and diesel vehicles, but the number sold will need to be counteracted with the increased sale of low and zero-emission cars.

The federal government has touted the clean energy policy, stressing the need for Australia to have specific laws aimed at vehicle emission reductions given it remained one of the only advanced economies without them.

This article was originally published by a www.skynews.com.au . Read the Original article here. .

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