Fuel consumption label
All vehicles on this website must display a Fuel Consumption Label on the front windscreen when purchased new. The label indicates the vehicle’s fuel consumption in litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (L/100km) and its emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in grams per kilometre (g/km). This information comes from the same data source as this website.
The label is designed to you make informed choices about the environmental impact of new cars and the cost of running a particular vehicle. The label has 3 fuel consumption values – for ‘urban’ (low speed), ‘extra-urban’ (higher speed) and ‘combined’, which includes both. It’s important to consider each of these 3 values because the current fuel consumption label only displays the ‘combined’ value, when there can often be quite a range between the values. For example, data from the United Kingdom indicates that that urban fuel consumption values can be 20‐50% higher than the combined value. Additionally, while the ‘extra urban’ value does not exactly mimic ‘highway’ conditions, it is a high speed test that provides a better indication of fuel consumption in freeway or highway driving.
A more detailed overview of the test cycle used by manufacturers to determine the values for the label is below.
Fuel consumption label test cycle
Disclaimer: No test can simulate all ‘real world’ conditions. The purpose of the label is to provide a common basis to compare the efficiency of individual vehicle models.
All vehicles are tested under standardised, carefully controlled conditions in specialised vehicle emission laboratories as specified by ADR 81/02 Fuel Consumption Labelling for Light Vehicles . To ensure the quality and consistency of test results, laboratories and their facilities are subject to audit by the Australian Government.
The label displays the fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) values for the vehicle sourced from a standard dynamometer test conducted under laboratory conditions. The test cycle is split into 2 phases:
Phase 1 is known as the ‘urban’ cycle, which represents conditions found in stop‐start traffic.
Phase 2 is the ‘extra‐urban’ cycle, which involves the vehicle accelerating to a high peak speed.
The weighting of the ‘urban’ and ‘extra-urban’ figures to determine the full ‘combined’ test result is based on the distance travelled in each part of the cycle.
Most vehicles have much higher fuel consumption on the ‘urban’ part of the test cycle, which features a low average speed (19 km/h), substantial idle periods (30%) and frequent stop/start events. For drivers who spend a lot of time in city traffic conditions, this figure will provide a better indication of fuel consumption than the combined result.
In contrast, the ‘extra urban’ component has a relatively high average speed (63 km/h) and a peak speed of 120 kilometres per hour (km/h). It’s not a typical ‘highway’ cycle as it does not maintain a relatively constant speed over an extended period of time, but it is more likely to approximate fuel consumption in freeway or highway driving.
Energy consumption label
All new pure electric and externally chargeable (‘plug-in’) hybrid electric vehicles require an energy consumption label. This label shows the vehicles energy consumption in Watt hours per kilometre (wh/km), expected range when fully charged, fuel consumption in litres/100 kilometres and CO2 emissions in grams per kilometre (g/km) based on a standard test.
While the label alerts consumers of potential CO2 emissions from recharging, it does not provide detail on these emissions, since this will depend on how the electricity is generated. You can use this website to estimate a vehicle's recharge (fuel lifecycle) emissions.