Joint media release: Consultation opens for fuel quality standards

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy
The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Public consultation is now open on improved fuel quality standards that could see cleaner cars on Australian roads, resulting in better health and environmental outcomes.

The changes proposed in the draft regulation impact statement could pave the way for Euro 6d standards, which require lower levels of noxious emissions.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said Australia’s current fuel quality standards are limiting access to lower emissions vehicles.

"Adopting Euro 6D will improve the choice Australian consumers have when buying their next car, supporting more model choices that cost less to run," Minister Bowen said.

"Closer alignment with best-practice international fuel standards would ensure that consumers will have confidence that new vehicles will operate effectively in Australia.

"The Government is seeking feedback on its preferred option to ensure the right policy settings for fuel quality in Australia."

Aromatics are chemicals in crude oil that increase the octane of petrol, but which – at high levels – can interfere with the advanced emissions-control technology of newer cars.

Limiting aromatics in one grade of ‘premium’ petrol to 35%, according to the draft regulation impact statement, would ensure effective operation of the latest vehicle-emission controls and enable adoption of Euro 6d standards for new vehicles from 2025.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Catherine King said estimates put the value of lowering noxious emissions through Euro 6d standards at $4.9 billion from 2025 to 2050.

"Implementing improved fuel quality and noxious emissions standards will result in improved air quality and better health outcomes," Minister King said.

"They will also ensure the cleanest vehicle technology works as intended."

The draft regulation impact statement is seeking views on costs and benefits including:

  • implementation costs for refiners, importers and service stations, and
  • impacts on vehicle importers.

The consultation follows discussion on Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy, including fuel efficiency standards.

The Government recently fast tracked reduction of sulfur levels in petrol and has announced it will phase in tighter noxious emissions standards for new trucks and buses from 2024.

The draft regulation impact statement on fuel quality has been published here:

Submissions are open until 16 December.