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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services
The Hon. John Anderson

1 July 2003

New Fuel Consumption Label on Cars

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Mr John Anderson, today announced the introduction of the new Fuel Consumption Label for new car models that lists both fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Dr Kemp said the fuel consumption label scheme had been expanded to include emission figures for carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, in addition to the current fuel consumption information.

"Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector are one of the fastest growing of any sector in Australia and 90% of the transport sector's emissions come from road transport," Dr Kemp said.

"Including carbon dioxide figures on the label for new models of cars from July 1, 2003 means consumers purchasing a new car model will be able to compare emissions of different cars as well as their fuel consumption.

"Cars with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions are better for the environment, and car manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of buyer interest in environmental performance of vehicles."

Mr Anderson said the number of vehicles that will be required to display a label has also been increased and will now include all new 4WDs and light commercial vehicles to 3.5 tonnes. The labels previously applied to vehicles of up to 2.7 tonnes.

"With the introduction of new and stricter emission standards over a wider range of vehicles, Australia is moving into line with increasingly stringent international standards, improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas and other noxious emissions," Mr Anderson said.

"The new fuel consumption label is being introduced in stages. New car models introduced in Australia between July 1 and December 31, 2003 will be required to display the new label. However, from January 1, 2004, all new vehicles, including models that are already on the market and imported models, will be required to carry the label."

Carbon dioxide is a key greenhouse gas produced by fossil fuels. It adds significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect and accelerates climate change. In Australia in 2000, road transport accounted for 12.9% of Australia's total national carbon dioxide emissions.

For more information about the Fuel Consumption Label, visit the website at:

example of a fuel label

Fuel Consumption Label Q&As

Q. What's new about the label?

A. The new Fuel Consumption label includes not only information about fuel consumption, but now also includes the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced. Both these figures are worked out under laboratory conditions and should be used for comparison between car models only.

Q. Can you compare the figures on both the old and new labels?

A. The figures are slightly different between the old label and new label because a different fuel consumption test is used. The figures on the new label will show a slightly higher fuel consumption rate to an equivalent car on the old label. All new cars sold in Australia from 1 January 2004 will have the new label.

Q. Why has the carbon dioxide figure been included?

A. Carbon dioxide is a key greenhouse gas produced by petrol, diesel, LPG and CNG fuels. The CO2 emission figure will enable consumers to compare the greenhouse performance of vehicles running on these different fuels. Cars with the lowest CO2 emissions are better for the environment.

Carbon dioxide emissions add significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect and climate change. In Australia in 2000, road transport accounted for 12.9% of our total national emissions.

Q. Which vehicles have to have the new label?

A. From 1 July 2003, all new vehicle models manufactured in Australia or imported from overseas will have the new fuel consumption label clearly visible on the windscreen.

Q. When will all vehicles have the same label?

A. Some car models may show the new label from January 2003. Between January 2003 and January 2004, cars may have either an old or a new label. The old label will be phased out completely by 1 January 2004.

Q. Why can't I achieve the same fuel consumption as the label states?

A. The fuel consumption label is a guide only to fuel consumption and CO2 figures for comparing different vehicles. The figures are derived from specific laboratory conditions that cannot be replicated on the open road. You may experience different results depending on driving conditions, driver behaviour and the condition of your vehicle. No test can simulate all possible combinations of traffic conditions, climate, driver behaviour and vehicle maintenance.

Q. Where can I find out more information?

A. Visit the Australian Greenhouse Office website at or phone 1300 130 606.

Commonwealth of Australia