New research shows the fuel efficiency and carbon emissions of new motor vehicles have improved markedly in recent years.
According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the National Average Carbon Emissions (NACE) for new light vehicles in Australia has reached a new low.
During 2007, new vehicles recorded an average of 226.1 grams of CO2 emissions for every kilometre they travelled.
That's down on the 2006 figure of 230.3 grams, and over the past five years the industry has achieved a reduction of more than ten per cent in average emissions.
The FCAI oversees a voluntary code, endorsed by the industry, to improve the environmental performance of vehicles in Australia and the latest figures show the industry is well within reach of its target of an average of 222 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometre by 2010.
"The Australian automotive industry recognises the need to make a meaningful contribution to efforts to mitigate climate change," said FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar.
"These figures demonstrate that the industry is continuing to implement new technology to lower the impact passenger cars have on the environment," said Mr McKellar.
This is in contrast to many other countries, particularly in Europe, where emissions have stayed almost unchanged.
"Improvements in engine technology, changes in market segmentation, as well as an increased uptake in alternative fuels such as clean-diesel, are being reflected in the lower carbon emissions," Mr McKellar said.
An important element in further reducing vehicle emissions in Australia will be the enhanced availability of more advanced fuels.
"A number of low emission technologies rely on improved quality fuels that are not yet available in Australia," Mr McKellar said.
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