The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has cautiously welcomed the Federal Opposition's proposal to implement a $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund.
"We believe this is a constructive initiative which will encourage the Australian car industry to increase its future investment in the development and uptake of advanced new vehicle technologies, and help underpin enhanced environmental outcomes," said the FCAI's Chief Executive Peter Sturrock.
"It is important to acknowledge that this initiative builds on a strongly supportive package of existing policy arrangements," he said.
"It also requires a very significant investment of $1.5 billion by Australian automotive manufacturers."
The FCAI says the Australian automotive industry has a longstanding commitment to improving environmental outcomes and achieving reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The industry has already voluntarily set a target of reducing average CO2 emissions from new vehicles by 12 per cent between 2002 and 2010.
The 2010 average emission target for new passengers cars, SUVs and light trucks is 222 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
"This is an ambitious target, and while the industry has made very significant progress in the past two years we face some further challenges if it is to be achieved," said Mr Sturrock.
"The Opposition's proposal appears to fit well with the industry's existing environmental efforts and may offer an opportunity for local automotive manufacturers to consider how they can further enhance their investment in advanced environmental technologies beyond 2010."
"We will welcome an opportunity to further explore the details and potential implications of the Opposition's proposal," he said.
For further information contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
P: 02 6229 8221
M: 0458 038 555