Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter: @JoshuaDowl­ing

POLITI­CIANS have been bang­ing on about fuel econ­omy and emis­sions stan­dards in the wake of the Volk­swa­gen diesel cheat­ing scan­dal.

But Aus­tralia can hardly take the high ground as our emis­sions stan­dards are at least six years be­hind Europe, which in­tro­duced strict “EU6” rules in Septem­ber 2014.

Aus­tralia is still at EU4, with the EU5 stan­dard — in­tro­duced in Europe in Septem­ber 2009 — set to ap­ply from next week.

Emis­sions stan­dards are so lax be­cause the Aus­tralian car industry lob­bied suc­ces­sive fed­eral gov­ern­ments to de­lay the in­tro­duc­tion of stricter stan­dards.

It’s ex­pen­sive to come up with new ways to cut fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions.

Aus­tralian car buy­ers now have an­other bat­tle when choos­ing a ve­hi­cle that might be kin­der to the en­vi­ron­ment than oth­ers.

The star rat­ings for ev­ery make and model on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s Green Ve­hi­cle Guide have mys­te­ri­ously gone af­ter a re­cent web­site makeover.

Pre­sum­ably, this is a de­layed re­ac­tion to the big stink the Aus­tralian car industry made about the rat­ings about 18 months ago.

Lo­cally made cars did poorly be­cause they were mostly gas-guz­zling six­cylin­der sedans, which took them off the pur­chas­ing lists for many gov­ern­ment and busi­ness fleets.

The Green Ve­hi­cle Guide should have stood its ground.

Aus­tralian car mak­ers will close their fac­to­ries within two years yet we’ve lost a valu­able, easy-to-un­der­stand shop­ping tool for those who want an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly car.

Politi­cians love to talk about clean en­ergy and “clean” cars. What a pity they had a hand in mak­ing it harder to find a car with de­cent eco cre­den­tials.

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