The newest data released by the National Transport Commission supports the motor industry’s assertion that credits and incentives are vital in encouraging more consumers to buy low emissions vehicles and, in doing so, continue to drive down Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), has welcomed the NTC’s newest report, Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity for New Australian Light Vehicles 2016, which reveals a 1.1 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions intensity from new passenger cars and light commercial from 2015.

This continues the steady decline in CO2 emissions from new passenger and light commercial vehicles sold in Australia, which have fallen by almost 25 percent since 2005.

The report also noted that Australian consumer preference for heavier vehicles with larger and more powerful engines as a key reason for light vehicle emissions being higher here than in Europe.

Other notable factors were a lower proportion (than Europe) of diesel-powered engines across the Australian passenger car and light commercial fleet, fewer government incentives for lower emission vehicles and relatively low fuel prices compared with Europe.

FCAI Chief Executive, Tony Weber, said the industry was engaged in a lengthy dialogue with government around the importance of fuel quality to enable the car brands to offer next generation, advanced engines with world-class emissions technology.

“There’s no doubt about the importance of the decisions that need to made this year around getting Australia’s transport standard fuel quality up to match that of the European standards,” he said.

“Australia has the lowest quality petrol of the 35 countries in the OECD, below Mexico, Turkey and Estonia.”

This fuel quality issue has been acknowledged at the highest levels of government. At a recent vehicle emissions review stakeholder forum, Federal Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, stated it was not good enough that Australia’s fuel is ranked 66th in the world and last in the OECD.

Mr Weber said that to shape consumer buying patterns Australia needed to look to other international markets where credits and incentives are in place.

“Our sales data show quite clearly that, in general, Australian consumers prefer very different types of vehicles to European consumers and this preference flows through to our CO2 emissions,” he said.

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