The Albanese government has moved to weaken its planned vehicle efficiency standards. 

The federal government has revised its approach to vehicle emissions, particularly focusing on utes and vans. 

In an effort to align with the automotive industry's feedback and concerns, a new legislative amendment aims to mitigate potential cost impacts on consumers while still addressing environmental goals.

The proposed New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) will now categorise certain vehicles, notably the Isuzu MU-X and Ford Everest, under a less rigorous emissions framework intended for “light commercial” vehicles. This classification relieves these models from the stringent fuel economy rules initially set for passenger vehicles.

The government has pushed back the implementation of the pollution standard, moving the start date from the originally planned New Year commencement to July 2025. It says this delay allows the automotive industry additional time to adapt to the new regulations.

To address industry concerns regarding a potential “ute tax”, the emissions limit for all light commercial vehicles will be elevated. 

The announcement this week was made in collaboration with automotive industry representatives, indicating substantial backing for the revised legislation. 

Despite the amendments, the government claims that the less stringent standards will still contribute to a significant decrease in vehicle emissions - estimating a 50 per cent reduction by 2029 compared to the initial 60 per cent target.

More information on the Government’s planned New Vehicle Efficiency Standard is available at