NATION A tax to drive us mad Proposed emissions penalty will cost car buyers big time
A “CARBON tax” on cars that could push up the price of Australia’s most popular vehicles by more than $ 5000 has been proposed by the Turnbull Government.
News Corp Australia has obtained the Government’s proposal outlining emissions penalties to be slapped on car distributors who fail to meet new fuel efficiency targets.
Under the proposal, from 2022 new cars will be slapped with a surcharge of $ 100 for every gram of carbon per km they emit over a target figure and fail to offset. Modelling by the Australian Automobile Association shows the changes would add $ 3925 to the price of a Toyota Ascent.
Car distributors were shocked to receive the proposed model from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s Vehicle Emissions Team on Monday evening, describing it as more “extreme” than any measures discussed during 18 months of consultation.
“This would be one of the most extreme efficiency standards in the world and will lead to car prices going up and motorists having fewer cars to choose from,” Australian Automobile Association chief executive Michael Bradley said.
Peak car industry body the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ acting chief executive Tony McDonald said that it would add “thousands of dollars in emissions penalties” to the price of a car.
A spokesman for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said the Government had not made a decision on the proposal: “The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development released the proposed model for consultation only.”
Under the proposed model, car companies need to meet a fleet- wide average target equivalent to 105g CO2/ km, through a credit and debit offset scheme.
“The standard will regulate fuel efficiency for vehicles in terms of tailpipe CO2 emissions,” the department’s pro- posal states. “The proposed design of the fuel efficiency standard is based on achieving a new light vehicle fleet average equivalent to Target A ( 105g CO2/ km on the current test cycle) in 2025.”
Car companies that fail to meet this target over a threeyear- period would pay $ 100 for every extra gram of carbon dioxide per kilometre.
“Distributors would be liable for a penalty of $ 100 for each g/ km debit not offset within the next three calen- dar years,” the departmental document states.
Financial penalties will also apply for failing to report.
It is a cost that will be passed on to consumers, says the FCAI, which represents the major car companies.
From 2020, all car distributors will have to report car sales and efficiency levels in a single yearly report.
The new emissions target would then start in 2022, where 65 per cent of sales will have to comply.
The department model states that the sales of fuel efficient cars can be “offset” against those with higher emissions.
“If the distributor’s debits exceed their credits at the end of the calendar year, they will need to offset this debit ( by accruing credits) within the next three calendar years,” the document states.
Mr Bradley said any scheme that “dramatically increases car prices” will see older, dirtier and less safe cars stay on the road for longer.
While 105g/ km is the target for the entire fleet of cars, each manufacturer may have a different target based on the mass of their vehicles.