Australia cars see drop in fuel consumption

New cars sold in Australia are getting more environmentally friendly and boasting lower fuel consumption, according to new data released by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

The report, entitled Carbon Dioxide Emissions from New Australian Light Vehicles 2012, was released at The Cars of Tomorrow conference in Melbourne on March 14.

It states that the national average of carbon emissions from new passenger and light commercial vehicles in 2012 was 199 grams per kilometre (g/km).

This equates to a four per cent drop from the national average that was reported in 2011, and means that average new car emissions have now reduced by 21 per cent over the last 11 years.

That is good news for the environment, and for any Australian fleet manager who regularly finds themselves looking for ways to reduce petrol expenses across the fleet.

"Car manufacturers have encouraged the reduction, with four brands lowering emissions from their vehicles by around nine per cent over the past year," said NTC project director Neil Wong in a statement released March 14.

The report also found that the popularity of green cars is on the rise, as total sales of these eco friendly vehicles in Australia increased by four percentage points from 2011 to 2012, to reach 1.2 per cent.

However the NTC has also pointed out that these achievements are just a fraction of what could have potentially been achieved if more consumers placed a greater focus on low emission vehicles.

According to the report, total new car carbon emissions in Australia could have been reduced by 40 per cent in 2012 if people had focused on buying vehicles with best-in-class emissions.

The Cars of Tomorrow conference was held at the Melbourne Park Function Centre, and saw expert international and local speakers delivering presentations on a range of topics to do with automotive innovation.