Australia’s marine industry is rapidly moving itself into a lower emission future, according to new figures gathered by the Outboard Engine Distributors Association (OEDA).
The figures show the industry is acting unilaterally to reduce emissions across the board, even as the Federal Government continues to consider legislative action.
“The fact is that OEDA members – which are the only companies that produce all available outboard technologies of conventional 2 stroke, 2 stroke Direct Injection and 4 stroke engines – have released 56 new generation engines over the past two years,” said OEDA’s Executive Officer, Lindsay R Grenfell.
“That’s about one a fortnight.”
The engines range from 2 hp through to 300 hp models and more are on the way.
“These are all either 4 stroke or 2 stroke Direct Injection engines, and they all meet the stringent requirements for 3 Star VELS rating because of their ULTRA-LOW emissions,” Lindsay said.
“It really is a case of customers and industry working hand in hand. Boat owners want to do the right thing by the environment and the major manufacturers – Mercury, Yamaha and Tohatsu – are using their technical excellence to deliver engines which blend high performance and low emissions.”
OEDA developed and launched the VELS (Voluntary Emissions Labelling Scheme) five years ago to encourage consumers to make informed decisions regarding the engines they buy.
“OEDA members have always supported the push to increase the use of low emission engines, and this wave of new engines is the proof,” Lindsay said.
“While there will always be applications which require conventional 2 stroke engines, new generation low emission engines are the way of the future and OEDA members are proudly leading the way.”
In its response to the Environment Protection and Heritage Council’s RIS on reducing emissions from marine engines, OEDA was clear in its support for a low emission future, but also argued that any legislative change to support such a push must be introduced in a fair and equitable manner which causes the least amount of disruption to customers, the dealer network and other small businesses dependant on the industry.
“It’s obvious there’s no simple answer to this situation, so at OEDA we’re not surprised it is taking the Government longer than it initially expected to work through all the various pros and cons,” Lindsay said.
“As the organisation which represents approximately 70% of all outboard sales and 70% of outboard dealerships across Australia, we’re always happy to work with the Government and provide any help we can to ensure the best outcome for the entire industry and all our customers.”
For further comment – Lindsay R Grenfell, Executive Officer OEDA