Ute Beauty! The case for lower and zero emissions utes in Australia

05.04.23 By , and
This content is more than one year old

Utes have long been part of work life in Australia, used in particular for construction, mining and agriculture. Some drivers also use them for convenience and recreation, with utes now making up one in five new car sales. As we move towards a zero emission future, we all need to think about how we move around. While there needs to be a focus on encouraging zero emissions ways of getting around like active and public transport, it is likely utes will continue to play some role in Australia’s transport mix.

The good news is zero emissions electric utes are on the way. The top selling ute for over four decades in major markets – the Ford F-150 – is now available in an all-electric version in the United States (US) and other markets.  A growing number of mainstream brands are ramping up production of zero emissions utes. These aren’t as widely available as zero emissions light passenger vehicles yet, but the technology is improving fast and more zero emissions utes are expected to become available in the next five years.

As more electric utes are manufactured overseas, strong fuel efficiency standards can help bring them here so Australian ute drivers have more choice, can make big savings on their fuel bills and cut their emissions. That’s why we need to implement strong fuel efficiency standards as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if drivers need a new ute today and are unable to get their hands on a zero emission option just yet, it’s also possible to significantly cut fuel bills and emissions by choosing the most efficient ute on the market instead of petrol and diesel-guzzling, highly polluting options. This brief provides a snapshot of where the electric ute market is going, and highlights that the fuel efficiency and emissions profile of new utes sold in Australia varies hugely. This means that those looking to buy a ute today can already tap into cost and emissions savings by choosing a more efficient ute that is cheaper to run, even before electric utes become readily available.

Strong fuel efficiency standards would encourage more supply of the lowest emitting and cheapest petrol and diesel utes relative to more polluting models, while also helping ensure the supply of zero emission utes ramps up in the next few years.

Ute Beaty report Infographic - Electric utes available now & in the future-FA
Ute Beaty report Infographic – Electric utes available now & in the future-FA

1. To get to net zero, the way we get around in Australia needs to change.

2. In Australia, ute sales are growing and the most popular vehicles are also among the worst performing, and most polluting. This isn’t sustainable.

3. Electric utes are on the horizon and we can hasten their arrival with strong fuel efficiency standards.

4. Lower-emissions options are available now while we wait for electric utes to become more widely available, and more affordable.

Ute Beaty report cover