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by Tim Beissmann

The Australian automotive industry continues to outperform its carbon dioxide emissions goals, last year breaking through the 220g/km national average mark to post its lowest figures on record.

The National Average Carbon Emission (NACE) figure for 2009 dropped to 218.5g/km, 1.8 percent below 2008’s 222.4g/km.

The NACE figure is far more wide-ranging than some other CO2 fleet measurements, including those in Europe which are historically low, and considers all new passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial utes, vans and buses (up to 3.5 tonne).

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO, Andrew McKellar, was pleased that Australia had soundly beaten its target to reduce CO2 emissions to 222g/km by the end of 2010.

“This is a very positive result and confirms that the Australian automotive industry is making good progress in achieving better fuel economy and lower emissions.

“We have exceeded the target a year ahead of schedule and the industry has achieved a reduction in carbon emissions from new vehicles of around 13.4 per cent since 2002,” Mr McKellar said.

The 2002 NACE result was 252.4g/km, and Mr McKellar largely puts the recent reduction down to the growing availability of improved vehicle technology which has encouraged motorists to shift to more efficient vehicles more quickly.

“Improved engines, better transmissions and technologies like direct injection and cylinder deactivation have all contributed to lowering the emissions from new vehicles.

“The introduction of better quality ‘clean diesel’ fuel in recent years has enabled a rapid increase in the number of diesel cars on Australian roads as many motorists have sought to take advantage of enhanced fuel economy and lower carbon emissions.

“Over coming years we will see vehicle manufacturers bringing more new technologies to the market as they strive for even greater reductions in emissions. Hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and alternative fuels all have a role to play,” he said.




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