Cleaner air, cheaper rides: Aussies want access to better cars

16.03.24 By

A clear majority of Australians want cleaner cars that are cheaper to run, to help cut climate pollution and the cost of living, new polling from the Climate Council shows.

The national poll found an overwhelming majority of participants (80%) reported feeling squeezed by high and rising petrol bills. At the same time, a majority (74%) also said cutting pollution from our cars is important for tackling climate change. 

With fuel bills and climate pollution on the rise, two in three Australians (65%) agree we deserve access to the same cleaner, more efficient cars that are already being sold overseas. It’s clear Aussies want the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard to unlock Australia’s car market and get us on the road to savings.

Climate Council Head of Advocacy, Dr Jennifer Rayner, said: “We’ve heard a lot of self-interested talk lately from multinational car brands about what Aussies want to drive. The answer couldn’t be clearer: the majority of Australians want cars that are cheaper to run and don’t pollute our air and climate.

“The big brands aren’t bringing cleaner, cheaper cars to Australia right now, even though they’re already selling them in the millions overseas. An effective New Vehicle Efficiency Standard can change that. 

“Australians understand our dirty cars are costing us, and our environment, far too much. Mums and dads are particularly feeling the pinch of high petrol prices, and they’re worried about the risks of escalating climate change for their kids. Cleaning up our cars is a practical solution on both fronts, and Aussies know it. That’s why a majority supports this standard.   

“The Federal Government should listen to what Australians want and deliver the New Vehicle Efficiency standard as soon as possible. Big car brands trying to block it are speaking only for themselves, not for our community.


For interviews please contact Zerene Catacutan on 0438 972 260, or Jemimah Taylor on 0478 924 425,

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It was founded through community donations in 2013, immediately after the then-Abbott Government dismantled the Climate Commission. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community. For further information, go to: Or follow us on social media: and