Most people are aware that vehicle exhaust causes air pollution, commonly referred to as smog. Pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulates (black soot) are released from the exhaust and affect the quality of the air we breathe. Driving a car also contributes to another environmental problem: the greenhouse effect.
About the label
The Fuel Consumption Label is an Australian Government initiative to promote consumer demand for vehicles with good fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse impact. All new vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass sold in Australia, regardless of fuel or body type, are required to have a Fuel Consumption Label on the front windscreen. This includes passenger cars, four wheel drives and light commercial vehicles.
The label indicates how many litres of fuel a vehicle will use to travel 100 kilometres and how many grams of carbon dioxide the vehicle would emit for each kilometre. The rating is based on a standard test procedure so you can reliably compare the performance of different models under identical conditions.
The lower the numbers, the better the vehicle.
Encouraging consumer preferences toward vehicles of greater fuel efficiency will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. In addition, introducing mandatory CO2 labelling will raise consumer awareness of the role fuel efficient vehicles play in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the relative impacts of different fuel types.
It should be noted that, while the fuel label provides standard fuel consumption and CO2 figures for comparing different vehicles, it should only be regarded as a guide. You may experience different results when actually driving the vehicle because the fuel consumption of a particular vehicle will depend on what traffic conditions it is driven in, how you drive the vehicle and how well the vehicle is maintained.
Green vehicle guide
The fuel consumption and emission figures provided on the labels of all vehicles are also listed in the Green Vehicle Guide.
Find out more
The Fuel Consumption Label scheme is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. Find out more about the label: www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/index.aspx
The standards for fuel consumption labelling are specified in Australian Design Rule 81/02 Fuel Consumption Labelling for Light Vehicles. Further information on Australian Design Rules and the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 and can be obtained from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government at: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/motor/design/adr_online.aspx.