Green Vehicles Interactive Infographic

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Green Vehicles Infographic

Interest in green vehicles, such as electric and hybrid cars, has been increasing in recent years as environmentally conscious consumers search for a 'greener' alternative.

To be considered 'green', vehicles need to produce fewer pollutants, consume less petrol or diesel or use alternative fuel sources1. The Green Vehicle Guide provides information about the greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and fuel consumption of vehicles available in Australia as well as a 1 to 5 star rating based on overall environmental performance2.

Global green vehicle sales

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been slow to break into the market in Australia accounting for only 0.05 per cent of car sales between June 2013 and 20143. Although over 13,000 hybrid vehicles were sold domestically in 2012, only 6,040 were bought by private buyers compared to 96 per cent of new car sales going to petrol, diesel or LPG cars4,5.

Many European countries and the US have subsidies and other incentives in place to help consumers manage the initial expense of purchasing a hybrid or electric car. Californians enjoy reduced electricity rates, free parking and USD7,500 cash back when they purchase a Nissan Leaf. In comparison, drivers in NSW and VIC only receive a small discount on registration fees on green cars4,6.

Countries with the most EV sales (%) of total new car sales7.

Country Electric vehicle share of a country's total new car sales (%)
Switzerland 0.39
Denmark 0.28
Driving range

One of the biggest concerns about EVs is that you may be left stranded if the battery goes flat. This so called range anxiety can be alleviated by knowing the trip range of your car and where charging stations are located8. For hybrids, this isn't usually an issue because the internal combustion engine (ICE) charges the battery for the electric motor while you are driving.

To find out how far you can drive an EV or hybrid from your home, enter your address below and click 'submit.'

One way driving range of some of the most common EVs and hybrids

*Trip ranges apply when the battery is fully charged and/or the fuel tank is full and may vary due to driving conditions.
The range shown on the map is a circle centred on the selected location with a radius of the estimated one-way driving range. Vehicles can only be driven on trafficable roads, and range may vary due to route and driving style.

Vehicle Type Electric only round trip driving range (km)* Electric and ICE combined driving range (km)*
Holden Volt Plug-in Hybrid9 8710 60010
Nissan LEAF Electric11 17011 17011
Mitsubishi iMiEV Electric12 15012 15012
BMW i8 Plug-in Hybrid13 3713 60013
Toyota Prius i-TECH Full Hybrid9 N/A 115014

N.B. The average Australian car travels 14,000 km a year, which is approximately 38km per day. This makes the electric range of these vehicles suitable for average daily commutes15.

Charging finder apps

These apps, available on Apple and Android devices, can help you find charging stations across the country and the world!

ChargePoint Australia OpenCharge Map
Emissions by state or territory

Many people may wonder if plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars are really very environmentally friendly. Charging an EV in Victoria emits more greenhouse gases than the 2012 internal combustion engine new car average (215 grams of CO2 per km) due to the Victorian grid relying on brown coal electricity19. On the other hand, charging an EV in Tasmania produces the lowest levels of greenhouse gases in Australia due to the use of hydro-electric power generation19.

Greenhouse gas emissions for an EV (grams of CO2 per km)

State or Territory Greenhouse gas emissions (grams of CO2 per km)
EV in Victoria (Nissan Leaf)228
EV in New South Wales (Nissan Leaf)182
EV in Queensland (Nissan Leaf)164
EV in Western Australia (Nissan Leaf)145
EV in Northern Territory (Nissan Leaf133
EV in South Australia (Nissan Leaf)126
EV in Tasmania (Nissan Leaf)38

"Table source: Pudney, P 2013, 'Will electricity save the car?', The Conversation, 25 November, viewed 9 December 2014,

Pros and Cons of owning a green car

Not sure whether a hybrid or electric car is right for you? Here are some of the pros and cons of owning a green car.

Pros and Cons of owning a green car


Running costs

  • Electric cars typically have running costs that are 70 to 80 per cent cheaper than petrol cars20.
  • For example, it costs $4.50 in electricity to travel 100km21. The cost of fuel for the average petrol car to travel the same distance, by comparison is $16.65 at $1.50 per litre21. Even the most fuel-efficient diesel cars will cost $7.50 to travel the same distance21.

Less pollution

  • Electric vehicles have zero localised emissions from exhaust leading to cleaner air and reduction in respiratory problems22.
  • Noise pollution is also reduced by driving green vehicles, leading to better living conditions in urban areas21, 22.


  • Lithium ion batteries that are used in most contemporary electric cars aren't toxic to the environment21.
  • They can also be recycled, which is being encouraged by electric car manufacturers with incentives to return used batteries for recycling23.
Myths and Reality

Even though hybrid cars have been available in Australia for over 10 years, there are still plenty of myths surrounding how they work and how environmentally friendly they really are.

Accessed via the Public Domain. Uploaded by user IFCAR to Wikimedia


EVs take hours to charge from a standard power outlet which is much longer than five minutes at the petrol station28.


The Nissan LEAF's battery can be charged to 80% in just 30 minutes11. As technology improves the difference in time between charging an electric car and refuelling a petrol car is shrinking28. Installing your own charging station at home can also be a convenient and easy way to charge your car29.

Green Motorsport

Motor racing tends to have a poor reputation for environmental sustainability. In recent years, the sanctioning bodies for many of the most well known and up-and-coming racing classes have been working towards reducing their carbon footprint.


1 Fubra Limited 2014, What is a green car?,, viewed 22 December 2014,

2 Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Australian Government 2012, Discussion Paper on a new approach to comparing the environmental performance of vehicles on the Green Vehicle Guide, viewed 21 October 2014,

3 PPB Advisory 2014, Automotive sales updates, viewed 19 September 2014,

4 McCowen, D 2013, 'Motorists continue to shun green cars', Drive, 28 January, viewed 24 October 2014,

5 TMR Team 2013, 'Toyota's Greenest Camry Surpasses Prius In Australian Hybrid Sales', The Motor Report, 11 April, viewed 24 October 2014,

6 Winton, N 2014, 'Electric Car Sales In Western Europe Spurt, But From Miniscule Base', Forbes, 6 February, viewed 16 October 2014,

7 Shahan, Z 2013, 'Electric vehicle market share in 19 countries', ABB, 7 March, viewed 16 October 2014,

8 Paine, C 2013, 'Five myths about electric cars', Drive, 29 April, viewed 9 October 2014,

9 Cobb, J 2014, 'The Three Main Types of Hybrids Explained', Hybrid Cars, 8 May, viewed 8 December 2014,

10 Holden 2014, Volt, viewed 16 October 2014,

11 Nissan 2014, LEAF: overview, viewed 9 October 2014,

12 Mitsubishi Motors Australia 2014, i-MiEV, viewed 16 October 2014,

13 BMW 2014, The New BMW i8, viewed 16 October 2014,

14 Park, B 2012, 'The brightest spark: Prius v Volt v Leaf', Drive, 21 January, viewed 16 October 2014,

15 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 12 months ended 30 June 2012, 9208.0, ABS, viewed 27 November 2014,

16 ChargePoint 2014, ChargePoint Australia, viewed 19 December 2014,

17 ChargePoint, Inc. 2013, ChargePoint Australia, viewed 19 December 2014,

18 Open Charge Map, Homepage, viewed 19 December 2014,

19 Pudney, P 2013, 'Will electricity save the car?', The Conversation, 25 November, viewed 9 December 2014,

20 Leisk, L. 2013, 'Are hybrid cars worth the extra cost?', Yahoo!7 Moneyhound, 10 July, viewed 5 November 2014,

21 My Electric Car 2014, FAQ, viewed 5 November 2014,

22 My Electric Car 2014, Vehicle Pollution, viewed 5 November 2014,

23 My Electric Car 2014, EV Batteries, viewed 5 November 2014,

24 Nicholson, T 2013, 'Australia's cheapest cars to own', Go Auto, 26 June, viewed 5 November 2014, Cars Guide, 28 November, viewed 5 November 2014,

25 Hinchliffe, M 2011, 'What's the resale value of your next car?', Cars Guide, 28 November, viewed 5 November 2014,

26 Leisk, L. 2012, 'Do 'green' cars save you any money?', Yahoo!7 Moneyhound, 20 March, viewed 5 November 2014,

27 Cobb J 2014, 'How long will an electric car's battery last?,, viewed 19 December 2014,

28 Braunl, T 2014, 'Costly, toxic and slow to charge? Busting electric car myths', The Conversation, 20 February, viewed 9 October 2014,

29 Charge Point 2014, Home Solutions, viewed 5 November 2014,

30 Eng P 2003, 'How do hybrid cars work?' abc news, viewed 19 December 2014,

31 Holden 2014, Volt, viewed 16 October 2014,

32 Voelcker, J 2014, 'Five Big Myths About Green Cars And Gas Mileage Debunked', Green Car Reports, 17 January, viewed 9 October 2014,

33 Shrink That Footprint 2014, Shades of Green: Electric Cars' Carbon Emissions Around the Globe, viewed 5 November 2014,

34 California Public Utilities Commission 2012, CPUC 2012 1st and 2nd Quarter Renewables Report to the Legislature, viewed 16 October 2014,

35 Toyota Motor Corporation Australia 2014, 8 Year Hybrid Battery Warranty, viewed 9 October 2014,

36 Toyota Motor Corporation Australia 2014, Hybrid HV Battery Recycling Program, viewed 9 October 2014,

37 Newman, L.H 2014, 'New Lithium-Ion Batteries Could Charge an Electric Car in 15 Minutes', Slate, 14 October, viewed 6 November 2014,

38 Hunter, S 2014, 'Electric cars: ugly as charged?', CSIRO, 10 October, viewed 6 November 2014,

39 Maclean, A 2014, 'BMW i8 first drive review', Drive, 13 October, viewed 6 November 2014,

40 Formula One World Championship 2014, 2014 season changes, viewed 10 October 2014,

41 Clarke, L 2007, 'IndyCar Makes Switch to Ethanol', Washington Post, 21 March, viewed 24 October 2014,

42 NASCAR 2014, NASCAR: Leading Sport and Business in Sustainability, viewed 24 October 2014,

43 Formula One World Championship 2014, Hybrid update for Mercedes' car name, viewed 16 October 2014,

44 Formula One World Championship 2014, Assessing the hybrid revolution - the mid-term tech report, viewed 16 October 2014,