The make-up of our fleets is changing. Information provided by The National Transport Commission (NTC), has produced a report of Australian car purchase trends. They’ve found Australian consumers have bought a record number of fuel-efficient, low-emissions cars, leading to the biggest year-on-year growth in the percentage of new cars sold since the NTC began keeping records.
4.7% of the new cars sold in 2015 were classified as low-emissions vehicles (emitted less than 120 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometre travelled) compared to 2.8 per cent in 2014.
A further analysis of the data by the NTC found the changing consumer preference for fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles led to Australia’s national average carbon emissions intensity falling 27 per cent in 2015 compared to 2002.
However, while Australian consumers were increasingly choosing lower-emissions cars, the overwhelming majority still preferred other types of vehicles. For example, if all Australians who bought a new vehicle in 2015 bought one with best in class emissions, the national average carbon emissions intensity would have dropped by 55 per cent compared to 2014.
Despite the improvements, Australian consumers buy passenger vehicles with carbon emissions intensity that are an average of 43% higher than their European counterparts, according to data from the European Environmental Agency.
There are a number of reasons for this, including that Australians generally prefer heavier vehicles with bigger, more powerful engines, and our fuel prices are lower. Europeans also have more incentives to purchase low-emissions vehicles