Fuel efficiency standards glossary

Term Definition

ABS

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is the central statistical authority for the Australian Government and, by legal arrangements, provider of statistical services to Australian State and Territory governments.

ADR

The Australian Design Rules are the national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions.

Attribute-based standard

Is a standard that is based on an attribute of a vehicle such as mass, or footprint (i.e. length and width), which is further defined by the limit curve.

BAU

Business as usual.

BCR

Benefit-cost ratio.

Car parc

A term that refers to all registered vehicles in Australia.

CO2

Carbon dioxide, the key greenhouse gas expelled from the exhaust systems of internal combustion engines.

CO2-e

Carbon dioxide equivalent (in terms of global warming potential).

CBA

Cost-benefit analysis.

Credits

A mechanism to track when a supplier beats its target.

DCCEEW

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Debits

The monetary amount that a supplier would need to pay for each gram of CO2 their fleet is above the fleet limit in any given year. Debits can be banked, and extinguished through using the equivalent number of credits. 

The department

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

EV

A vehicle that exclusively uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs to power at least one electric motor with no secondary source of propulsion.

FCEV

A hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, is an electric vehicle that is powered by electricity generated by a fuel cell that uses compressed hydrogen, as opposed to being powered by externally sourced electricity stored in an onboard battery like in a BEV.

FES

A fuel efficiency standard is a legislative framework that regulates CO2 emissions from vehicles, usually by applying an average CO2 target to a suppliers’ fleet of new vehicles. A FES usually reduces over time. We now refer to this policy as a New Vehicle Efficiency Standard.

Fleet limit curve

Defines the amount of CO2 a supplier’s fleet of cars is able to emit on average, over time and is often drawn on a graph against vehicle mass.

GVM

Gross vehicle mass is the maximum loaded weight of a vehicle while driving on the road.

GHGs

A greenhouse gas is any gas that contributes to global climate change. CO2 is one of the key GHGs emitted by ICE-powered vehicles. 

GWP

Global-warming potential is used to describe the relative potency, molecule for molecule, of a greenhouse gas, taking account of how long it remains active in the atmosphere.

Hybrid / HEV

A hybrid electric vehicle is a vehicle that is powered by the combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which is not able to plugged into an external source of power to charge its internal battery.

ICE

An internal combustion engine-powered vehicle solely utilises the power from its internal combustion engine and no other source of propulsion. ICE engines power cars that most Australians have historically driven and generally consume carbon-based fuels such as petrol or diesel. ‘Advanced’ ICE refers to ICE vehicles that have improved efficiency above what is currently available on the Australian market.

Intensity

The carbon dioxide emissions intensity for vehicles is calculated using the method described in Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 81/02 – fuel consumption labelling for light vehicles) and expressed in grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g/km).
Vehicle emissions intensity is a measure of vehicle efficiency, not actual vehicle emissions, which depend on many real-world factors, such as the distance travelled, the nature of the driving, and road and traffic conditions.

LCV

Light commercial vehicles are utes and vans. Under the relevant legislative framework (seeVehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule – Definitions and Vehicle Categories) 2005),we place NA (light goods vehicles) and NB1 (medium goods vehicles) in the light commercial vehicle category with exemptions available for some NB1 vehicles.

LZEV

Low and Zero Emission Vehicles is a catch-all term to describe, BEVs, HEVs and PHEVs.

MIRO

Mass In Running Order is mass of the vehicle with all fluids, standard equipment and 75kg for the driver.

Net zero

The United Nations defines net zero as cutting GHG emissions to as close to zero as possible, and where any remaining emissions are re-absorbed from the atmosphere, for example by forests or seas. 

NEVS

The National Electric Vehicle Strategy sets out Australia’s ambition to improve supply and access to EVs, improve EV infrastructure and increase demand for EVs.

NVES

A new vehicle efficiency standard is a legislative framework that regulates CO2 emissions from vehicles, usually by applying an average CO2 target to a suppliers’ fleet of new vehicles. A NVES usually reduces over time. We previously referred to this policy as a Fuel Efficiency Standard.

PVs

Passenger vehicles are sedans, hatch backs, SUVs and most 4WDs. Under Australian legislation (seeVehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule – Definitions and Vehicle Categories) 2005)cars are further sub-categorised. Using the legislative categories, we generally put MA (passenger cars), MB (forward-control passenger vehicles) and MC (Off-road passenger vehicles) categories in the passenger vehicle category.

PHEV

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is a vehicle that is propelled by a combination of power from a battery that can be recharged by plugging it into an external source of electric power, in addition to its on-board ICE engine, which also acts as a generator to recharge the battery.

ROVER

ROVER (Road Vehicle Regulator) is an administration system for theRoad Vehicle Standards Act 2018within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

Supplier

An entity that holds an approval under theRoad Vehicle Standards Act 2018 to provide vehicles to the Australian market (for example, a company that imports cars into Australia). See extended definition in Chapter 7.

ZEV

A vehicle with no tailpipe emissions.

Where reference is made in this document to a zero emissions vehicle for the purposes of a new vehicle efficiency standard, it is taken to mean a vehicle that does not have an internal combustion engine and therefore does not produce CO2 while driving. There may be other emissions, such as grid emissions from charging an EV or hydrogen electrolysis, and lifecycle emissions from manufacturing processes. See Chapter 4 for more analysis on this aspect.