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Don’t pay double: More efficient new vehicles will lower fuel bills

Climate Council 3 mins read

EMBARGOED 12.01AM WEDNESDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2024

Aussie drivers could pay up to twice the price for petrol when purchasing a new car compared to international car markets with effective fuel efficiency standards, according to the latest Climate Council analysis.

 

On average, a new passenger car sold today in Australia will consume 6.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (L/100km), leading to an annual petrol bill of almost $1,460. This is nearly $720 more per year than new European cars, which use just 3.5L/100km, and almost $570 more than new American or Chinese cars which use 4.2L/100km. 

 

Similarly, new utes and vans in Australia use 9.9L/100km on average, resulting in an annual petrol bill of almost $2,880. This is $1,250 more every year than equivalent new vehicles in Europe or China, where average fuel efficiency is 5.6L/100km , and nearly $1,110 more than in the United States.

 

Petrol prices are one of the top three causes of household financial stress and a majority of Australians (71%) say they’ve changed their driving habits to manage the high cost of fuel.

Climate Councillor and economist, Nicki Hutley, said: “Our long-time lack of fuel efficiency standards makes us a dumping ground for older, less efficient cars. Australians are paying far more for fuel because we are driving inefficient petrol-guzzling cars the rest of the world has rejected. 

“An immediate benefit of making cars more efficient is that the average new car will consume less fuel to drive the same distance, lowering fuel bills and helping Australians tackle cost of living pressures.

“An effective New Vehicle Efficiency Standard will bring us up to speed with the majority of the world that already has similar standards in place. Drivers in these countries are already enjoying the savings and choice of cleaner, cheaper-to-run cars Aussies have missed out on for decades.

“It’s time for the Federal Government to put the pedal to the metal and deliver this standard so Australians can start seeing the same benefits already enjoyed by drivers overseas.”

Climate Council Head of Advocacy, Dr Jennifer Rayner, said: “Our reliance on fossil-fuelled vehicles is not only hurting our hip-pockets, but also harming our health and the environment. The success of standards like these across comparable international markets shows they can open the path to cleaner, cheaper-to-run new cars.

“Any measure that keeps more money in our wallets, while safeguarding us from increasing transport pollution risks, should be welcomed. 

“Some car manufacturers seem to want us to go slow, but it’s only by catching up to the standards already in place in other markets that Australians will see real benefits. We shouldn’t have to settle for second best when there’s big fuel savings and pollution cuts to be won through an effective standard.” 

ENDS

Case study available for interview: Brad currently pays around $180 in fuel bills a week for his van. He said he and his business would gain from the Federal Government’s proposed New Vehicle Efficiency Standards.

For more information on the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard, view our information document for journalists here.

BACKGROUND: WHAT IS THE NEW VEHICLE EFFICIENCY STANDARD? 


The New Vehicle Efficiency Standard aims to limit the pollution Australia’s cars release by setting a limit on the average annual emissions across a manufacturer’s new car sales.


Over time, the maximum amount of pollution allowed is reduced, which means car makers must offer Australians a wider range and more choice of new low and zero emissions vehicles. 


Fuel efficiency standards like this already cover over 85% of the world’s car markets. 

 

For interviews please contact Zerene Catacutan on 0438 972 260, zerene.catacutan@climatecouncil.org.au; or Jemimah Taylor, 0478 924 425, jemimah.taylor@climatemediacentre.org.au 

 

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It was founded through community donations in 2013, immediately after the then-Abbott Government dismantled the Climate Commission. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community. For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil

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