Mike Stevens | Oct 14, 2010

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) is calling on the Australian Government to tighten the requirements for its Cleaner Car Rebate, set to launch in January next year.

While generally supportive of the plan, FCAI CEO Andrew McKellar said this week that the rebate should be increased from $2000 to a more meaningful $5000 and that the rules for acceptable new cars should also be tightened.

Speaking with Fairfax this week, Mr McKellar said that there is strong support for the rebate in the vehicle industry but a clearer picture of the Government's plan is needed.

Under the plan's current (albeit incomplete) criteria, recipients of the rebate would be eligible to put it towards any vehicle that holds a Greenhouse Rating of six or higher on the Government's Green Vehicle Guide.

There are several hundred new vehicles available in Australia that meet this criteria, some of them emitting as much as 229g/km of carbon dioxide.

Mr McKeller said that if the rebate's stated aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes by 2024 is to be met, it should be only be made available for buyers of ultra-efficient and low-emission vehicles such as hybrids and a number of diesel and low-capacity petrol models like the Mini Cooper D and the Suzuki Alto.

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