Frequently Asked Questions

Green vehicles

What is a green vehicle?

A green vehicle is an environmentally friendly vehicle that uses less fuel and produces low or no emissions that impact on the environment and the air we breathe.

The Green Vehicle Guide ranks vehicles in order of lowest tailpipe CO2 emissions.

What are the different types of environmentally friendly vehicles?

Environmentally friendly vehicles can be:

  • Fuel efficient vehicles – allow you to drive greater distances using less fuel, which is usually measured in litres/100km
  • Electric vehicles – cars or other vehicles with motors that are powered by electricity rather than liquid fuels and are plugged in to charge
  • Hybrid vehicles – powered by a combination of liquid fuel and electricity. Some hybrids need to be plugged in to charge the battery, while others are charged by the combustion engine and energy captured by a ‘regenerative braking’ system.

What is an electric vehicle?

There are different types of electric vehicles, including:

  • Pure electric vehicles (EVs) (also known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs)) – use a battery-powered electric motor only
  • Hybrid vehicles – use an internal combustion engine (usually petrol or diesel) engine with an electric motor and small battery to power the vehicle.

How do I know my car is environmentally friendly?

Environmentally friendly cars use less fuel and generate fewer or zero emissions in the air while running when compared to conventional internal combustion engines, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

They typically use an alternative form of propulsion in addition to, or instead of petrol or diesel. Electric vehicles are an example of an environmentally friendly car that produces zero tailpipe emissions while driving.

How do I know if my car is fuel efficient?

Fuel-efficient cars use less fuel to travel a certain distance so you can travel a higher number of kilometres for fewer litres of fuel – and spend less on fuel.

In general, cars that uses 6 litres or less per 100 kilometres are more fuel-efficient than average.

What should I consider when buying a green vehicle?

If you’re thinking about buying a green vehicle you should first consider:

  • Your driving needs and lifestyle
  • Whether you want to save on fuel, running and servicing costs or purchase price.
  • Whether you want a more environmentally friendly vehicle.

Once you’ve decided to buy a green vehicle, you will need to decide on an electric, hybrid or fuel efficient petrol or diesel vehicle. Below are some considerations for each.

Electric vehicles Hybrid vehicles Fuel efficient vehicles






How and where can I charge an EV?

EVs can be charged using public chargers. For locations, visit the Electric Vehicle Council .

They can also be charged by plugging into any standard power point and using power from the electricity grid. This is the slowest method of charging, but it means you can charge at home where you park overnight, at work, or anywhere you can access a power point.

You can also purchase a fast charger to install at home to charge your EV faster.

The time it takes to charge from empty will depend on the size of the EV battery.

Are green vehicles cheaper?

Driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle can help you save money on fuel and other running costs.

While they are generally more expensive to buy upfront, they are cheaper to run and service.

Prices are also expected to keep trending down as production and battery costs decrease and driving range increases, making the overall ownership cost more competitive.

Are electric vehicles really better for the environment?

Electric vehicles are a better and more sustainable driving choice than equivalent sized petrol/diesel vehicles, even when accounting for emissions produced from electricity generation.

Driving an electric vehicle can help improve air quality, reduce CO2 emissions, decrease noise pollution, and reduce Australia’s dependence on imported oil.

Electric vehicles are much cleaner than petrol and diesel cars, which produce emissions from the tailpipe while driving and from the production and distribution of fuel.

The Green Vehicle Guide

What cars are included in the Green Vehicle Guide?

The Green Vehicle Guide has information on the environmental performance of light passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Australia since 2004.

Fuel consumption data for vehicles sold from 1986-2003 vehicle models is available in the Search Older Vehicles section. This data is reported separately as it is based on an older test, which means the figures are not directly comparable with those reported for post-2004 vehicles.

Are motorcycles and scooters on the Green Vehicle Guide?

No. Verifiable fuel consumption and emissions data for motorcycle and scooters sold in Australia is not currently available. This is because motorcycles and scooters are not required to supply fuel consumption and emissions data to comply with the .

Are heavy vehicles on the Green Vehicle Guide?

No. Verifiable fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is not currently available, This is because heavy vehicles are not required to report their fuel consumption or CO2 emissions to comply with the .

Where does the data come from?

The data for the Green Vehicle Guide is supplied by authorised representatives of vehicle manufacturers.

Vehicle Data is sourced from testing manufacturers who are required to perform to comply with the Australian Design Rules for and .

Data submitted to the Green Vehicle Guide is verified against certification data submitted by manufacturers to comply with the Australian Design Rules. To ensure vehicles are tested correctly, the Department conducts audits of evidence submitted to demonstrate compliance with the Australian Design Rules on a risk assessed basis.

Is the information on the Green Vehicle Guide the same as on new car windscreen labels?

Yes. The Green Vehicle Guide results for fuel consumption and tailpipe CO2 emissions are based on the same test data displayed on windscreen fuel consumption labels.

The Green Vehicle Guide also provides information on:

  • Urban and extra-urban CO2
  • The air pollution standard a vehicle meets in Australia
  • Estimates of fuel lifecycle CO2 emissions
  • Annual fuel costs
  • Annual tailpipe CO2 emissions
  • Stationary noise.

The current fuel consumption label displays combined urban and extra-urban fuel consumption. The 'urban' figure is likely to be more about city driving than the combined figure. This new information is also reflected in the Green Vehicle Guide.

Learn more about the Fuel consumption label.

How accurate is the fuel consumption information?

Fuel consumption information is based on a laboratory test involving a standard drive cycle. This allows different vehicle models to be compared equally, as all vehicles are tested in the same conditions.

These tests cannot and do not simulate all possible real-world driving conditions. This means the emissions and fuel consumption you may experience on the road will vary due to traffic and road conditions, the condition of your vehicle and how you use it.

Read the Green Vehicle Guide tips for greener driving to help minimise fuel consumption and emissions.

Can I provide data to the Green Vehicle Guide website?

If you are an authorised representative of a vehicle manufacturer supplying a vehicle approved for sale in Australia, you can provide data to the Green Vehicle Guide. Please contact us to register for an account.

Can I use data from the Green Vehicle Guide for business or research purposes?

The Green Vehicle Guide has a third party web service that can be used to analyse our data for business or research purposes. To request access to this service, please contact us.

Emissions and pollution

What are CO2 emissions?

CO2 emissions are the main greenhouse gas produced by motor vehicles. Greenhouse gases can trap additional heat from the sun, which can contribute to climate change.

Vehicles with a lower CO2 number produce less CO2 emissions. A vehicle's level of CO2 emissions is closely related to the amount of fuel it consumes.

See more information about vehicle emissions .

What is the “Euro” level / Air Pullution Standard?

The Euro level listed for each vehicle on the Green Vehicle Guide indicates the air pollution standard that the vehicle meets in Australia.

These standards regulate emissions that cause smog and impact human health rather than greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2.

A higher Euro level indicates a vehicle produces lower levels of emissions that impact on the quality of air we breathe.

Under the , all vehicles currently supplied to the Australian market must meet a minimum standard known as Euro 5. Many vehicles sold in Australia meet tougher Euro 6 standards adopted in the European Union or other markets.

The Australian Government has mandated stricter noxious emissions standards for newly supplied light vehicle models from 1 December 2025, and new units of existing vehicle models supplied from 1 July 2028. These standards are based on the international standard known as Euro6d, with vehicles meeting the equivalent US ‘Tier 3’ standards also accepted.


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