January 2006 – How Green is Your Car?

Well, tough call because you’ve always thought your car was ‘Desert Mist’ – but in fact it may be quite green!

With petrol prices consistently on the rise we have discovered a particularly useful website that helps us advise our clients with accurate and comparative data in relation to the fuel consumptions of all the cars in the Australian market.

The Green Vehicle Guide, a Federal Government Initiative, has been operating for several years and has developed quite a comprehensive and up-to-date database of the vehicles available for sale.

www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au

What is exceptional about the site is the ability to compare different makes and models against each other.  While you may think you can do this in a flash by comparing the manufacturer’s website for each model, there is a problem – and it’s comparability.  While manufacturers are required to test and publish the fuel consumptions of their vehicles, there is no uniform method of doing so.  So you may think one car is more fuel efficient than another by the data published by the manufacturer, but it may more-so reflect their ingenuity in methodology than environmental prowess.

With the Green Vehicle Guide assesses all vehicles independently and rigorously using the same testing method each time.

Now, a word of caution: the Guide may supply you a figure that you don’t or can’t achieve in a real life situation.  This can be because of one or several different factors.  Firstly, the roads you are driving on don’t reflect the testing loads placed on the test vehicle.  Secondly, how much are you carrying along with you?  A boot with miscellaneous luggage can easily add up to the weight of an extra passenger!  Thirdly, how are you driving?  Have you developed an efficient method of driving the car?  In my Hybrid car, I can easily add an extra litre per 100kms by driving more aggressively (or absentmindedly). 

The art of driving efficiently has been elaborated on in another article.  If you have the time, have a look!  By learning to drive efficiently, I can achieve results of up to 2 litres per 100kms better than my clients (and that’s in their own car).  If you reduce your average fuel consumption by only a litre per 100kms, at current market prices you’ll save yourself almost $300 a year.