Frequently Asked Questions

Is environmental information available for used or earlier model vehicles?

Is this the same information provided in the Green Vehicle Guide as on the Fuel Consumption label?

I have bought one of the models listed in the guide, but I am not getting the same fuel consumption as stated in the Guide. Why?

Why do diesel vehicles tend to get lower Air Pollution Ratings than similar petrol vehicles?

Why do LPG models get a better Greenhouse Rating than the equivalent petrol model, even though their fuel consumption is higher?

There are some imported models which have lower Air Pollution scores than I would have expected. Why?

Why are motorcycles and scooters not listed on the Green Vehicle Guide?

 

Is environmental information available for used or earlier model vehicles?

The Green Vehicle Guide only provides information on the environmental performance of new vehicles sold in Australia from 2004, as data which underpins the Green Vehicle Guide has only been available from 2004 onwards.

For older vehicles, fuel consumption data can be used as a broad indicator of the level of greenhouse gas emissions from a vehicle. While this is a good indicator for vehicles using the same fuel, any comparison of vehicles using different fuels has to take into account the difference in greenhouse gas emissions from different fuels. Fuel consumption data for 1986 - 2003 vehicle models is available from the earlier Fuel Consumption Guide. There is also a facility provided on the Fuel Consumption Guide website to calculate greenhouse gas emissions and annual fuel costs based on a vehicles fuel consumption.

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I have noticed a label on the windscreens of new cars with fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions information. Is this the same information provided in the Green Vehicle Guide?

Yes it is. The Green Vehicle Guide results for fuel consumption and greenhouse ratings are based on the same test data displayed on the fuel consumption label. The Green Vehicle Guide also provides information on emissions of air pollutants and overall ratings of motor vehicles, which take into account the both greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions.

The new fuel consumption label which began to appear on vehicles from October 2008, displays combined, urban and extra-urban fuel consumption. The 'urban' figure is likely to provide a more accurate representation of fuel consumption in city driving than the combined figure. This new information is also reflected in the Green Vehicle Guide. For more information on the revised label see our factsheet.

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I have bought one of the models listed in the guide, but I am not getting the same fuel consumption as stated in the Guide. Why?

The results displayed in the Green Vehicle Guide are based on a laboratory test involving a standardised drive cycle so different vehicle models can be compared with confidence. However, no laboratory test can simulate all possible combinations of conditions experienced on the road. Real world emissions and fuel consumption may vary from the results provided in the Green Vehicle Guide depending upon a number of factors including driving and road conditions, driver behaviour and the condition of the vehicle. For more information on the testing procedures see our factsheet.

While you may not have much control over some factors such as traffic conditions, you do have control over others, such as how you drive and how well your car is maintained. The Green Vehicle Guide's tips for greener motoring provide some advice on how you can help minimise fuel consumption and emissions.

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Why do diesel vehicles tend to get lower Air Pollution Ratings than similar petrol vehicles?

While diesel vehicles perform comparatively well on fuel consumption and produce lower levels of greenhouse emissions, their contribution to air pollution is generally higher than that of comparative petrol or LPG vehicles. Of most concern are particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions which can cause a range of adverse health effects. These emissions are generally higher in diesel vehicles compared to petrol or gas vehicles. Diesel vehicles meeting the new Euro 5 standards have much lower PM emissions than vehicles built to current standards.

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Why do LPG models get a better Greenhouse Rating than the equivalent petrol model, even though their fuel consumption is higher?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the major greenhouse gas from transport, and thus the Greenhouse Rating is based on the rate of CO2 emissions from the vehicle, not the litres of fuel consumed. The amount of CO2 emitted when a litre of fuel is burned differs depending on the type of fuel.

A vehicle using LPG, will have a higher fuel consumption (in L/100km) than the same vehicle using petrol. This is due to the difference in energy content between LPG and petrol. However, when a litre of LPG is used by a vehicle, the level of CO2 emissions from the exhaust is significantly lower than that for a litre of petrol, because of the lower proportion of carbon in LPG relative to petrol.

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There are some imported models which have lower Air Pollution ratings than I would have expected. Why?

The Air Pollution Rating is based on the emission standard to which the manufacturer has chosen to certify the version of the vehicle supplied to the Australian market. In some cases, the model supplied to the Australian market may not comply with the more advanced international standards, and thus has been certified to the minimum standard required in Australia. There might also be cases where the overseas model and the one supplied to the Australian market are identical, but the manufacturer has only chosen to certify the vehicle to the minimum standard required in Australia. While this approach would result in a lower GVG rating it is the manufacturer's choice to certify a vehicle to the minimum standard only.

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Why are motorcycles and scooters not listed on the Green Vehicle Guide?

The vehicle data on the Green Vehicle Guide is sourced from the certification information vehicle manufacturers must provide to demonstrate their vehicle/s compliance with the Australian Design Rules (ADRs), before the vehicles are allowed to be sold in Australia.

Motorcycles and scooters are not included in the Green Vehicle Guide because information on their fuel consumption and emissions performance is not available. This is because Australian regulations do not require manufacturers to report this information to demonstrate ADR compliance.

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