The National Transport Commission (NTC) identified a gap in the existing data and information which was available for governments to help inform policy and program development around light vehicle emissions. In order to fill this information gap, the NTC has published this information paper drawing on data provided by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. For the first time, this report provides detailed information of average emissions from new passenger and light commercial vehicles from Australia. The units for carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles are grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g/km). At the direction of the Council of Australian Governments, the Commonwealth government is currently undertaking a regulatory impact statement to assess the costs and benefits of introducing carbon dioxide emission standards for light vehicles. The data presented in this paper will provide important input to that project. However this data will also inform broader work being undertaken around climate change and the automotive industry. Governments are developing policy responses to encourage the manufacturing and development of ‘green’ cars, however there is currently no standard definition around what is considered to be a ‘green’ car. The data presented in this paper will contribute to that discussion. The paper provides a benchmark for carbon dioxide emissions for new passenger and light commercial vehicles. It includes detailed emissions breakdowns by buyer type, vehicle segment and make. Future new vehicle emissions depend on many factors including consumer preference, the emissions performance of high volume selling vehicles, vehicle price and fuel price. The information provided in this paper highlights an opportunity for governments, industry and the community to improve the emissions from new passenger and light commercial vehicles.
- In 2008, the national average carbon emissions from new passenger and light commercial vehicles was 222 g/km. This was a 12 per cent reduction from 2002.
- If Australians purchased new vehicles with best-in-class emissions during 2008, the national average would be 34 per cent lower (146 g/km).
- In 2008, Australia’s carbon emissions from new passenger vehicles were 41 per cent higher that the European Union (215 g/km compared to 153 g/km).
- In 2007, Australia’s carbon emissions from new light commercial vehicles were 27 per cent higher that the European Union (258 g/km compared to 203 g/km).
- In 2008, 0.6 per cent of total car sales in Australia were ‘green’ cars. In the United Kingdom, 11 per cent of passenger vehicle sales were ‘green’ cars in 2008. (Using the Swedish government’s ‘green’ car definition as a vehicle that does not exceed 120 g/km.)
- In Australia during 2008, private buyers had the lowest average vehicle emissions (210 g/km), followed by business buyers (233 g/km) and then government buyers (238 g/km).
- In Australia during 2008, Smart had the lowest average emissions (113 g/km) whereas Ferrari had the highest average emissions (443 g/km).
- Fifteen manufacturers annually sell 95 per cent of new vehicles in Australia. Of these manufacturers, Hyundai had the lowest average emissions (177 g/km) whereas Holden had the highest average emissions (252 g/km).
- In 2008, the average emissions from Australian-made vehicles was 267 g/km. This was a 4 per cent
reduction from 2005.