Vehicle emissions

Emissions of typical forms of transport

Emissions of various vehicles counting CO2 from fuel plus manufacturing.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) reported that in 2010, Australian-made vehicles had higher emissions than the country’s emission standards. They averaged 247 g/km compared to the nation’s average of 212 g/km. It is questionable whether the industry can significantly reduce its emissions; on average, Australian-made vehicles reduced their emissions by only 4.7 per cent from 2009.

Submissions to the government’s paper closed in December 2011. The Australian Conservation Foundation proposed that the mandatory emission targets ought to be similar to the EU’s: 130g of CO2/km by 2015 and 95g of CO2/km by 2020. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industriesproposed lenient targets of 195g of CO2 in 2015 and 176g of CO2 in 2020. In 2010, the EU achieved emission standards of 146 g/km: 44 per cent less than Australia’s average emissions.



The benefits of biodiesel are
•  all air pollutants  except oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are significantly reduced when replacing low sulphur diesel with biodiesel.
•  particulate matter emissions are significantly lower for pure biodiesel (B100) from tallow, canola and waste oil than for diesel.
•  the benefits of lower particulate matter emissions are greatest for pure biodiesel, and lowest in B5 blends where the benefits are swamped by the diesel.

The benefits of ethanol, particularly in an E10 blend, are less clear.
•  There may be benefits from reductions in particulate emissions from the tailpipe.
•  However there are increased evaporative emissions of smog-forming organic compounds which may have a negative impact on air quality and lead to worse health outcomes in some circumstances.
•  Rough estimates of the potential health costs avoided range from $3.3 million per year (1.4  c/L in 2003 dollars) to $90.4 million per year (30.4 c/L in 2004–05 dollars). Some of the assumptions are contestable.