9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, Oct 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/04/2003   
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  • Driving to Pluto and back: Australians drive 190 billion kilometres (Media Release)

Driving to Pluto and back: Australians drive 190 billion kilometres

In just 12 months Australian vehicles travelled the equivalent of going to Pluto and back 23 times. Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that vehicles registered in Australia travelled 190 billion kilometres in the 12 months to 31 October 2001. The majority of this was driven by passenger vehicles, which travelled just over three quarters (76%) of the total kilometres travelled.

Articulated trucks travelled the greatest average distance of any vehicle type with an average of 86,500 kilometres. This is more than five times the average distance travelled by the total motor vehicle fleet. Motor cycles averaged the lowest use of any vehicle type at 4,100 kilometres.

The states with the largest populations had the largest share of the motor vehicle fleet and also recorded the bulk of the total distance travelled. Just over three-quarters (78%) of total distance travelled was in New South Wales, Victoria or Queensland.

Nearly all of the total distance travelled was in the state or territory of registration of the vehicle. With the exception of the Australian Capital Territory, all states and territories recorded under 8% of their total travel as interstate. The Australian Capital Territory had 18% of all travel as interstate because of the short distances to the ACT/NSW border.

To power the motor vehicle fleet an estimated 25.9 billion litres of fuel was consumed of which 66% was petrol. Passenger vehicles powered by unleaded petrol averaged less fuel consumption (10.9 litres per 100 kilometres) than leaded petrol driven passenger vehicles (12.4 litres per 100 kilometres).

Freight vehicles travelled an estimated 22.5 billion kilometres while laden with 1.5 billion tonnes of freight.

Further details are in Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, (cat. no. 9208.0)