Executive Summary

This information paper provides detailed data on the carbon dioxide emissions intensity of new passenger and light commercial vehicles sold in Australia in 2014. The emissions data complements existing benchmarks and makes comparisons with 2013 data. The data is broken down by vehicle make, model, segment, fuel and buyer type. This report focuses on vehicle emissions intensity, which is measured in terms of grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g/km). This is a measure of vehicle efficiency rather than a measure of actual vehicle emissions, which depends on many factors such as distance travelled, the nature of the driving and road and traffic conditions. Fleet-wide vehicle emissions depend on many factors including consumer preference (such as, vehicle type, engine size and power, fuel type, and transmission type) among other things. Consumer preferences can also be influenced by government policies and regulations, industry influence and fuel prices. This report also contains 10-year trend data in average carbon dioxide emissions intensity for new light vehicles sold in Australia between 2005 and 2014.

Key Findings

  • In 2014 the national average carbon emissions intensity from new passenger and light commercial vehicles was 188 g/km. This is a 2.3 per cent reduction from 2013.
  • Consumer preferences are an important factor affecting the national average of carbon emissions intensity for new vehicles. If all Australians who purchased new vehicles in 2014 had purchased vehicles with best-in-class emissions, the national average carbon dioxide emissions intensity would have been reduced to 95 g/km, a 50 per cent reduction.
  • About 91 per cent of all new vehicle sales were from 15 makes. Of these 15 makes, BMW had the lowest corporate average emissions intensity (151 g/km) and Jeep had the highest (222 g/km).
  • The average emissions intensity for all Australian-made vehicles was 210 g/km in 2014.
  • This figure is unchanged since 2012.
  • Private buyers purchased vehicles with the lowest average emissions intensity (182 g/km), followed by business buyers (193 g/km) and government buyers (207 g/km).
  • There were 59 ‘green’ car models available in Australia in 2014 (compared with 45 in 2013) which represented 2.8 per cent of total sales (compared with 2.2 per cent in 2013). A ‘green’ car is defined as a vehicle that does not exceed 120 g/km.
  • The average emission intensity for new passenger vehicles in the European Union was 127 g/km in 2013. In the same year, Australia’s average emissions intensity was 182 g/km, 43 per cent higher.
  • Over the 10-year period between 2005 and 2014, the national average carbon dioxide emissions intensity for new light vehicles has fallen by 22 per cent.