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Types of emissions

    There are two types of vehicle emissions that impact on the environment. [1]

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

    These are carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane, which can trap additional heat from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere, causing climate change. The vehicle’s level of CO2 emissions is linked to the amount of fuel consumed and the type of fuel used. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas produced by motor vehicles. In 2017, the average combined CO2 emissions for a new light vehicle sold in Australia was 182 g/km.

    Air pollutant emissions

    Air pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and hydrocarbons (HC) are emitted into the environment by motor vehicles, which can contribute to urban air pollution and adversely affect human health causing respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

    What we can provide

    The Charge Together fleets program is focused on building an industry accepted Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) tool that enables well to wheel calculations of the carbon impact. This means it includes:

    • tailpipe emissions
    • costs of delivering the fuel from drilling (or producing it at a generator in the case of electricity)
    • the carbon intensity of the electricity grid.

    The carbon intensity is changed for each region based on the factors reported in the Department of Energy national GHG accounting figures. For more information on the TCO, refer to the Total cost of ownership article.

    Green Vehicle Guide

    The Australian Green Vehicle Guide defines a green vehicle as one with emissions intensity that does not exceed 120 grams of CO2 emissions per km (g/km). [2]  The introduction of electric vehicles may redefine what it means to have a green vehicle in Australia.

    The Green Vehicle Guide (GVG) provides information about the environmental performance of new light vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass sold in Australia. It also compares emission levels and environmental impacts based on:

    • tailpipe CO2 emissions
    • fuel lifecycle emissions
    • fuel consumption (in L/100km)
    • energy consumption
    • electric range
    • air pollution standard
    • annual fuel cost
    • annual tailpipe CO2 emissions

    For more information, refer to the Green Vehicle Guide.

    Read about emission standards in Australia, and how to account for vehicle emissions.