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 vehicle emissions and fuel consumption labelling. 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 Fuel Consumption Label.
What is being done to improve information on real world fuel consumption and emissions?
The Australian Government is currently evaluating the costs and benefits of adopting improved international standards for light vehicle emissions (commonly known as ‘Euro 6d’). These standards adopt an improved laboratory test (known as the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure or ‘WLTP’) to reflect real world conditions better. Euro 6d also adopts a new on-road test for air pollutant emissions (known as the ‘Real Driving Emissions’ or RDE test). The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development Communications and the Arts also supports the development and review of international vehicle standards through the United Nations World Forum for the Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations.
If and when these standards are adopted in the Australian Design Rules, manufacturers will be able to submit data based from these tests to the Green Vehicle Guide.
To improve information available to consumers on the fuel consumption and emissions performance of vehicles in real world conditions, the Australian Government is also partnering with the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) to fund real world testing of light vehicle fuel consumption and emissions using a measurement system fitted to the vehicle. Further information on this program will be made available as it progresses.
The AAA has developed a ‘real world’ testing protocol for Australian vehicle models, based on the ‘RDE’ test protocol developed in Europe for its ‘Euro 6d’ standards. Further information on the testing protocol and results for each vehicle model tested will be available at: realworld.org.au. Results for vehicles tested will include: real-world fuel consumption, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and noxious tailpipe emissions (Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and particulates).