The Australian new vehicle market has reached a new environmental milestone with average carbon dioxide emissions the lowest on record, helped by improvements in engine technology.
The National Average Carbon Emission (NACE) figure for 2009 is 218.5 grams of CO2 per
kilometre – down 1.8 per cent compared to the 2008 figure of 222.4 grams of CO2/km.
All new passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial utes, vans and buses (up to 3.5 tonne) are included in calculating the NACE figure. The Australian methodology therefore includes many more vehicles than CO2 measures used in other parts of the world, including Europe.
“This is a very positive result and confirms that the Australian automotive industry is making good progress in achieving better fuel economy and lower emissions,” Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.
The FCAI set a target to reduce emissions from new vehicles from an average 252.4 grams of CO2/km in 2002 to 222 grams of CO2/km by the end of 2010.
“We have exceeded the target a year ahead of schedule and the industry has achieved a reduction in carbon emissions from new vehicles of around 13.4 per cent since 2002,” Mr McKellar said.
“The growing availability of improved vehicle technology has helped reduce vehicle emissions with Australian motorists moving quickly to buy more efficient vehicles,” he said.
“Improved engines, better transmissions and technologies like direct injection and cylinder
deactivation have all contributed to lowering the emissions from new vehicles,” Mr McKellar said.
“The introduction of better quality ‘clean diesel’ fuel in recent years has enabled a rapid increase in the number of diesel cars on Australian roads as many motorists have sought to take advantage of enhanced fuel economy and lower carbon emissions,” Mr McKellar said.
“Over coming years we will see vehicle manufacturers bringing more new technologies to the market as they strive for even greater reductions in emissions. Hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and alternative fuels all have a role to play,” he said.