Australians have missed out on more than $27 billion in fuel cost savings from a national vehicle efficiency standard, don't delay the benefits further - Solar Citizens

Australians have missed out on more than $27 billion in fuel cost savings from a national vehicle efficiency standard, don't delay the benefits further

The Electric Vehicle Council, Solar Citizens and Good Car Company are today calling on support from all sides of politics to accelerate the introduction of a New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES), and not delay the cost of living and other benefits further.

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development analysis of a fuel efficiency standard proposed by the Coalition in 2016 found Australians could have saved $27.5 billion in fuel savings on fuel cost alone between 2020 and 2025 if the standard had been implemented at the time. [1]

If a fuel efficiency standard had been introduced in 2016, Australia could have prevented 65 million tonnes of CO2 emissions between 2020 and 2025 and had overall net benefits of $13.9 billion.

The original modelling is likely to be conservative as it assumes a fuel price of $1.30 per litre, while fuel prices have risen sharply between 2016 and now, reaching more than $2 per litre in some areas.

The 2024 New Vehicle Efficiency Standard impact analysis from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development finds potential savings from the current NVES [2] of about:

  • $1000 per vehicle per year or $17,000 over the average life of the vehicle;

  • $100 billion in fuel costs by 2050; and

  • $5 billion in reduced health costs given the reduction in air pollution.

Heidi Lee Douglas, CEO of Solar Citizens said, “Every day of delay for a New Vehicle Efficiency Standard is a delay in offering Australians savings from reduced fuel bills.

“Australians have already missed out on billions in savings because of the hold up in national fuel efficiency standards, money that is dearly needed now to cover the rising cost of living and mortgage hikes.

“Australians want cheaper to run, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and the efficiency standards will get them behind the wheel of more efficient fuel, electric and hybrid vehicles sooner. For the millions of homes already running on rooftop solar, it also means the opportunity of nil fuel bills if they charge up an electric vehicle from home.” 

Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council said, “By joining the rest of the world in implementing New Vehicle Efficiency Standards, Australians will be able to access a greater choice of cars while cutting their fuel bills.” 

Anthony Broese van Groenou, The Good Car Company's Director 
“It's hard not to be amused by the fear mongering surrounding the future of our beloved Utes. 

Critics cry foul, claiming that adopting such standards will drive up costs, leaving the Aussie icon out of reach for the average Australia. Yet, this narrative crumbles faster than a lamington in the rain when we glance across the Pacific to America. The land of freedom fries, home to bigger, yet cheaper cars, and yes, stringent fuel efficiency standards. It's a stark reminder of how fear campaigns can cloud our vision and skew the reality of progress.

“The irony of the situation is as rich as Vegemite on toast. While opponents wave the flag of cost concerns, they overlook the substantial economic and environmental benefits that EVs bring to the table. In an era where the cost of living scales new heights, electric utes, van and cars offer a lifeline, slashing fuel and maintenance expenses and providing a smoother ride towards financial relief.”


[1] Improving the efficiency of new light vehicles. Draft Regulation Impact Statement.
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. December 2026. Page 6.

[2] Cleaner, Cheaper to Run Cars: The Australian New Vehicle Efficiency Standard.
Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. February 2024.