Vehicle pollution killing more Australians than road accidents

Traffic on Sydney roads (pollution)
Image: Shutterstock

The Electric Vehicle Council is imploring the federal government to ‘clear the air’ by introducing strong mandatory fuel efficiency standards, as new research shows significantly more Australians are dying from traffic pollution than previously estimated.

Melbourne Climate Futures Academy is today hosting a Vehicle Pollution Forum to discuss their analysis of new international modelling and research. 

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The fellows concluded vehicle emissions in Australia may cause 11,105 premature deaths in adults per year. That’s about 10 times more than road accidents.

The analysis also reveals vehicle emissions in Australia may cause 12,210 cardiovascular hospitalisations, 66,000 active asthma cases, and 6,840 respiratory hospitalisations per year. 

Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari has joined a chorus of doctors and health organisations in an urgent call for action on vehicle pollution related illness. 

“Combustion engine vehicles are not only bad for the environment, they’re bad for our health. Thankfully, their replacement with electric vehicles will reduce this toll,” Jafari said.

“But health and environmental outcomes can improve even faster if the government introduces a strong mandatory fuel efficiency standard, which would decarbonise manufacturers’ portfolios of new vehicles.

Related article: Sydney’s new EV strategy driving net zero emissions

“Australia has some of the most polluting vehicles in the world yet is the only OECD country without mandatory fuel efficiency standards.

“Right now, Australia is choking in the slow lane. We can’t overtake without the targets.”

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