A report by the National Transport Commission (NTC) has found that in 2017 Australia achieved a small annual reduction in carbon emissions intensity from new vehicles when compared to the results achieved in 2016.
Chief Executive of the NTC, Paul Retter said that this year’s Carbon Emissions Intensity for New Australian Light Vehicles report shows that there was a 0.3 per cent reduction between 2016 and 2017. This is the lowest annual reduction in carbon emissions intensity since 2002, when records of this type began.
“The national average carbon emissions intensity from new passenger and light commercial vehicles was 181.7 g/km in 2017. Excluding light commercial vehicles, the average for new passenger vehicles only was 171.5 g/km, and by comparison, in Europe it was 118.5 g/km for the same period,” Mr Retter said.
“Australians continue to show a preference for SUVs and utes in the 1.15 million light vehicles sold last year which have higher emissions than smaller or greener alternatives.
“If all Australians who purchased a new vehicle in Australia had purchased ones with best-in-class emissions, the national average carbon emissions intensity would have been reduced by 58 per cent to 76g/km.”
Despite being small in overall numbers, the take up of electric vehicles rose by 77 per cent in 2017 reaching a record of 2,424 vehicles sold for the calendar year.
The report notes that there are now 97 models of ‘green’ vehicles available in Australia, up from 51 in 2016. The NTC defines a ‘green’ car as a vehicle with an emissions intensity at or below 120 g/km.
Reasons for Australians choosing higher intensity light vehicles compared with Europe include consumer preference, a lower proportion of diesel-powered engines, relatively lower fuel prices and fewer government incentives for lower emissions vehicles.