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Motor Transport

Using motor vehicles to get to work or travel around is a very convenient option for many people and one we often take for granted.

Cars and motorcycles have a significant effect on our environment—they use fuel mainly from non-renewable resources and add to greenhouse gas emissions, air and noise pollution. In fact motor vehicles contribute more than 80 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions in urban Australia. Even water quality is affected as oily run-off and particles from roads are washed into stormwater drains ending up in our waterways and oceans. A small amount of oil can contaminate waterways and smother plants and animals—one litre of oil is enough to pollute one million litres of water.

The manufacture and maintenance of motor vehicles also impacts the environment by using non-renewable resources like metals, plastics, petroleum and other fossil fuels.

If you’re looking for ways to minimise your travel impact and costs here is some information which could help.

Fuel-efficient cars

Driving a fuel-efficient car saves money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. A fuel-efficient car can save you almost $1,000 a year in fuel costs and reduce your car’s greenhouse gas emissions by 1.36 tonnes a year. That’s around half the cost and emissions than those of a less efficient car. Driving efficiently will result in further savings.

For example:

  • a less fuel-efficient car can:
    • use 10 litres per 100 kilometres
    • cost $1,914 for fuel per year
    • emit around 2.73 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year
  • a more fuel-efficient car can:
    • use 5 litres per 100 kilometres
    • cost $957 for fuel per year
    • emit around 1.36 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.

These savings are estimated using a sample petrol price of $1.45 a litre over a travel distance of 13,200 kilometres per year with a mix of urban and rural driving.

You can compare the greenhouse and air pollution emissions and fuel economy of different cars (including four-wheel drives and light commercial vehicles) by using the Green Vehicle Guide. You can also use the Fuel Calculator to estimate your annual fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.


by YourEnergySavings.gov.au and via SESM



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