$6.5 million announced for real-world fuel emissions testing

Instantaneous

  • $6.5 million will go to real-world emissions testing
  • The AAA will receive the funds to carry out the tests
  • Most cars use 25% more fuel than official figures indicate

‘Real-world’ emissions testing for light-duty vehicles has received a financial boost – after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg made a surprise pledge of $6.5million in yesterday’s federal budget evening.

The Federal Coalition had resisted calls for cars sold in Australia to be tested for real-world fuel economy under local conditions on official formula-derived automakers’ “laboratory” figures.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) will receive the $6.5million to carry out the tests it has long campaigned for, after its own scheme found 17 of the 30 vehicles involved were using an average of 25 per cent fuel more than their official rating. – with some even recording a figure as high as 60 per cent.

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AAA chief executive Michael Bradley was understandably very pleased with the announcement, saying having a ‘real-world’ emissions test in place is a huge win for Australian families and businesses , and is the logical first step in any long-term approach to reducing emissions from Australia’s transport sector.

“Australian consumers will now know how much fuel a car will use on an Australian road, not just what it achieved in an overseas lab.

“Reporting actual performance will inform consumers and ultimately crush demand for cars that fail to deliver the fuel economy and environmental performance promised,” he said.

In its pre-budget submission, the AAA estimated that it would cost about $3 million per year to test drive 60 vehicles per year. If this number of vehicles were tested each year, in two years the results would cover approximately 60% of new vehicle sales.

The results will be advisory only and will not form part of the regulatory process.

Australia’s Labor Party has previously said it would introduce a similar program to inform consumer choice if it wins the next federal election.

More soon.

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