New passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles contribute to only around 0.5 per cent of Australia’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions.
While the contribution is low, vehicle manufacturers selling light vehicles in Australia are committed to developing and delivering new technologies that reduce CO2 emissions in their vehicles.
Their commitment to deliver these technologies to the Australian market shows in the average industry year-on-year reduction of 2.4 per cent. Over the past decade, overall light vehicle CO2 emissions have reduced by more than 20 per cent.
Welcoming the Government’s commitment to explore opportunities to improve the efficiency of vehicles as part of the National Energy Productivity Plan, FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said that the industry’s continued commitment to improve the technology and environmental outcomes for new motor vehicles will achieve some continued reductions. To make further reductions from private road transport, it is important the Government considers a range of policy matters, including fuel quality, infrastructure and incentives for the take up of low-emissions vehicles, and driver behaviour.
“We are pleased the Government is looking to industries to provide real-world information on this important issue. We will continue to work with the Government to ensure a sound understanding of the range of policy considerations,” Mr Weber said.
“This includes through the Government’s current Fuel Quality Standards Act Review, in which the FCAI submission explained how motor vehicles are designed and developed to meet emissions standards with an expectation of fuel quality in a particular market. In Australia, transport fuels are of lower standard than other major markets, especially the EU, Japan and the US. This restricts the introduction of some engine variants and inhibits the performance of the latest generation of engines.
“Lifting the fuel quality in Australia could see further reductions in CO2 emissions.”
Mr Weber noted that emerging vehicle technology, including hydrogen and electric vehicles, presents another opportunity for the achievement of further emissions reductions in Australia. “To effectively introduce a range of low-emissions vehicles, it is important the industry and governments work together to provide the appropriate infrastructure. In countries such as Japan, Government-led consumer incentives and infrastructure investment played significant roles in the uptake of vehicles with these technologies,” he said.
“CO2 emissions from light vehicles can also be reduced through improved driving habits. Public education and awareness raising may provide drivers with techniques to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Such education may also improve road safety.”