Real world emissions

Why is laboratory testing used to measure fuel consumption and emissions?

The fuel consumption and emissions figures reported on the Green Vehicle Guide website are based on an internationally standardised laboratory test performed in controlled by manufacturers to comply with the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for and . This is because there are a range of factors that can affect a vehicles fuel consumption and emissions on the road including:

  • Traffic and weather conditions.
  • The load being carried or towed by the vehicle.
  • The use of accessories such as air conditioning and heating.
  • How the driver speeds up and slows down.

For further advice on how you can reduce your fuel use, please see our tips for reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

As laboratory tests control these variables, this enables regulators, manufacturers and consumers to compare and validate fuel consumption and emissions on a consistent basis. For further information on the current laboratory test please see our page on the .

What is being done to improve information on real world fuel consumption and emissions?

New Australian Design Rules for Light Vehicle Emissions

In April 2024, the Australian Government three new Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for light vehicle emissions based on the international standard commonly known as ‘Euro 6d’. The new ADRs will be phased in for newly approved vehicle models supplied from December 2025 and new units of existing vehicle models supplied from July 2028.
These new ADRs adopt:

    - an improved laboratory test (known as the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure or ‘WLTP’) to reflect real world conditions better and
    - a new on-road test for air pollutant emissions (known as the ‘Real Driving Emissions’ or RDE test).

Further information on the new ADRs can be accessed at:

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development Communications and the Arts also supports the development and review of international vehicle standards through the

Real World Testing of Vehicle Efficiency

To improve information available to consumers on the fuel consumption and emissions performance of vehicles in real world conditions, the Australian Government has committed $14 million over four years (2022-23 to 2025-26) to fund real world testing of light vehicle fuel consumption and emissions using a measurement system fitted to the vehicle in partnership with the (AAA).

The AAA has developed a ‘real world’ testing protocol for Australian vehicle models, based on the ‘RDE’ test protocol adopted in the Euro 6d standards. This testing will measure on-road fuel consumption, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and noxious tailpipe emissions (Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and particulates).

Further information on the testing protocol and results for vehicle models tested so far is currently available at: .

Understanding emissions

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