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9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, Oct 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/09/2003   
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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents estimates from the 2002 Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). It contains statistics on passenger vehicle, motor cycle, truck and bus use for characteristics such as distance travelled, fuel consumption and area of operation.

The data were collected in four quarterly sample surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) over the period 1 November 2001 to 31 October 2002.

Beginning with the 2000 SMVU, the collection period changed from the 12 months ended 31 July to the 12 months ended 31 October.

Revised estimates from the 1998 and 1999 SMVU are also included in this publication. These relate to the period 1 August 1997 to 31 July 1998 and 1 August 1998 to 31 July 1999.

CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

The 1998 and 1999 SMVU data in this publication have been revised since their initial release. Deficiencies in the survey population frame were identified and have now been rectified. Further information on the frame deficiencies and the action taken to remedy them is given in Technical Note 2: Methodological Review.

Release of revised data due to the frame deficiencies has now been completed. Tables 1 to 3 include a full series of revised SMVU data for 1998, 1999 and 2000 together with recently released data for 2001 and new data for 2002.

COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS SURVEY RESULTS

This survey has been designed to provide a measure of total distance travelled and tonne-kilometres for each state/territory of registration by type of vehicle. While comparisons are made between 2002 survey results and the earlier iterations of the SMVU, the survey has not been designed to provide highly accurate estimates of change.

Care should be taken in drawing inferences from changes in data over time as movements may be subject to high relative standard errors. Therefore the resulting estimates of movements may not be considered statistically significant. There is also potential for increased volatility in the estimates due to the changes that have been implemented as a result of the methodological review.

Additional information about the reliability of the level and movement estimates is given in Technical Note 1: Data Quality.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

NUMBER OF VEHICLES

In the 12 months ended 31 October 2002 there were an estimated 12.8 million vehicles registered in Australia. This is an increase of 1.0 million vehicles (8.3%) since the 12 months ended 31 July 1998. New South Wales had the largest share of vehicles registered (30.0%), followed by Victoria (26.8%) and Queensland (19.1%). The majority of vehicles on the road were passenger vehicles (79.3%).

KILOMETRES TRAVELLED

Motor vehicles in Australia travelled an estimated 192,209 million kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002. This is an increase of 14.5% (24,317 million kilometres) since the 12 months ended 31 July 1998 and represents an average annual increase of 3.4%.

The state/territory proportion of total kilometres travelled closely relates to the number of registered vehicles in each state/territory. New South Wales had the largest share of total kilometres travelled (31.6%) and the largest number of registered vehicles.

NUMBER OF VEHICLES AND TOTAL KILOMETRES TRAVELLED, Percent by state/territory, Year ended 31 October 2002
Graph - Number of Vehicles and Total Kilometres Travelled, Percentage by state/territory, Year ended 31 October 2002.

Australian registered motor vehicles each travelled an average of 15,000 kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002. The Northern Territory (16,600 kilometres), New South Wales (15,800 kilometres) and the Australian Capital Territory (15,100 kilometres) were above the national average.

AVERAGE KILOMETRES TRAVELLED, Motor vehicles by state/territory of registration, Year ended 31 October 2002
Graph - Average Kilometres Travelled, Motor vehicles by state/territory of registration, Year ended 31 Octobler 2002.

Passenger vehicles accounted for 75.3% of the total distance travelled. The highest proportion of total distance travelled for passenger vehicles was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory (84.8%) with the lowest in the Northern Territory (62.9%).

Over the five years since 1998, the total distance travelled by passenger vehicles has increased by an average of 3.2% per year.

Personal and other use accounted for 51.7% of the total kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles in Australia during 2002. Travel to and from work (25.0%) and business use (23.3%) accounted for the remaining kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles. These proportions have remained stable since 1998.

Freight carrying vehicles accounted for 43,854 million kilometres travelled (22.8%) in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002. Light commercial vehicles accounted for 71.5% of the kilometres travelled, rigid trucks 16.1%, and articulated vehicles 12.4%.

FUEL CONSUMPTION

Motor vehicles in Australia consumed 26,164 million litres of fuel in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002. This is an increase of 12.5% (2,906 million litres) since the 12 months ended 31 July 1998. Over the same five year period, the estimated number of motor vehicles in Australia increased by 8.3% and kilometres travelled increased by 14.5%.

TOTAL FUEL CONSUMPTION, Type of fuel, Years ended 31 July 1998 and 31 October 2002
Total Fuel Consumption, Type of fuel, Years ended 31 July 1998 and 31 October 2002.

Of the total fuel consumed by motor vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002, 63.1% of fuel was petrol and 27.8% was diesel fuel.

The average rate of fuel consumption for motor vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002 was 13.6 litres per 100 kilometres, a decrease of 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres over the five years since 1998. Articulated trucks had the highest average fuel consumption with 53.9 litres per 100 kilometres.

AVERAGE FUEL CONSUMPTION, Type of vehicle, Year ended 31 October 2002
Graph - Average Fuel Consumption, Type of vehicle, Year ended 31 October 2002.

Passenger vehicles consumed 13,943 million litres of petrol in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002, of which 89.7% (12,513 million litres) was unleaded petrol. Leaded petrol consumption by passenger vehicles decreased from 3,575 million litres (27.0% of total passenger vehicle petrol consumption) in 1998 to 378 million litres (2.7%) in 2002. Consumption of lead replacement petrol, introduced during 2001, accounted for 1,052
million litres (7.5%) in 2002.

Fuel consumption by other vehicles surveyed in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002 showed high correlation between vehicle type and fuel consumption. The combined 4,890 million litres of diesel fuel consumed by articulated and rigid trucks, represents 99.7% and 96.9% respectively of fuel consumption for these vehicle types. The 90 million litres of unleaded fuel consumed by motor cycles, represents 90.0% of fuel consumption for motor cycles.

The total fuel consumption by other motor vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002 included 4,145 million litres of fuel by light commercial vehicles and 497 million litres of fuel by buses.

TONNE-KILOMETRES

Freight vehicles in Australia travelled an estimated 140,938 million tonne-kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002. This is an increase of 24,791 million tonne-kilometres travelled since the 12 months ended 31 July 1998, an average annual increase of 5.0%. An increase in tonne-kilometres was reported in all vehicle types.

TOTAL TONNE-KILOMETRES TRAVELLED, Type of vehicle, Years ended 31 July 1998 and 31 October 2002
Graph - Total Tonne-Kilometres Travelled, Type of vehicle, Years ended 31 July 1998 and 31 October 2002.

Articulated trucks accounted for 75.9% of the total tonne-kilometres travelled in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002, with rigid trucks accounting for 20.1% and light commercial vehicles 4.0%. Each articulated truck travelled an average estimated 1.9 million tonne-kilometres. Rigid trucks and light commercial vehicles averaged significantly fewer tonne-kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002 (95,100 and 5,600 tonne-kilometres respectively).

Articulated truck use has changed over the last five years. Trucks carrying a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of up to and including 40 tonnes in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002 travelled 6,524 million tonne-kilometres. This represents a decrease of 24.3% (2,090 million tonne-kilometres) since the 12 months ended 31 July 1998. However trucks carrying over 40 tonnes GCM increased by 25.3% (20,307 million tonne-kilometres).

The shift to heavier loads was influenced by growth in B-Doubles and road trains. The tonne-kilometres travelled by B-Doubles carrying over 40 tonnes of freight has increased by 89.3% from 15,449 million tonne-kilometres travelled in 1998 to 29,239 million tonne-kilometres travelled in 2002. The tonne-kilometres travelled by road trains has increased by 39.6% over the same period.

The amount of tonne-kilometres travelled by articulated trucks in the 12 months ended 31 October 2002 varied when comparing the area of operation and the area of registration in each state and territory. New South Wales is significant as a state where a large number of articulated trucks which were not registered in the state were operating.

TOTAL TONNE-KILOMETRES TRAVELLED BY ARTICULATED TRUCKS, Area of operation and registration, Year ended 31 October 2002
Graph - Total Tonne-Killometres Traveled by Articulated Trucks, Area of operation and registration, Year ended 31 October 2002.



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