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Australia to raise electric car supply in renewables push -report

SYDNEY, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The Australian government will seek to introduce vehicle fuel efficiency standards to lift the supply of electric cars, improve affordability for motorists and help drive down its emissions, local media reported on Friday. The absence of a mandatory fuel efficiency standard is curbing the uptake of electric cars in Australia, The Australian newspaper said in a report citing a planned speech by federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen. "We believe that now is the time to have an orderly and sensible discussion about whether vehicle fuel efficiency standards could help improve the supply of electric vehicles into the Australian market," Bowen will say at an electric vehicle summit in Canberra. Bowen's office did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment. He will announce the release of a discussion paper for electric vehicle strategy within weeks, the report said, seeking feedback from industry, unions and consumer bodies. Only 2% of cars sold in Australia are electric, nearly five times lower than the global average, because of high selling costs of vehicles. The recently-elected Labor government raised its 2030 target for cutting carbon emissions by 43% from 2005 levels, bringing the country more in line with other developed economies' Paris climate accord commitments. (Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Aurora ellis) ((renju.jose@thomsonreuters.com; +61 29171 7126;)) The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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