More Australian households than ever before are using diesel fuel to power their main motor vehicle according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The Environmental Issues: Waste Management, Transport and Motor Vehicle Usage publication looks at domestic waste management, motor vehicle ownership, and use of transport by Australian households. 


ABS Director of Centre of Environment Statistics, Andrew Cadogan-Cowper, said that while unleaded petrol (comprising regular, premium and ethanol blends) was still the most popular fuel type, the use of diesel is on the rise.


“For the first time the number of Australian households that opted to use diesel to power their main motor vehicle has hit the one million mark.


“The figures showed that 13 per cent of Australian households opted for diesel in 2012, compared with 9 per cent in 2009.


“While unleaded petrol is still used by 83 per cent of households, the use of regular unleaded has decreased to 63 per cent in 2012 from 75 per cent in 2009. More people are instead choosing premium unleaded, with 14 per cent of households in 2012, up from 8 per cent in 2009; and ethanol blends with 6 per cent in 2012, up from 3 per cent in 2009.

“Of the states and territories, New South Wales (20 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (18 per cent) had the highest percentage of households using premium unleaded petrol to power their main motor vehicle. New South Wales also reported the greatest use of ethanol blended petrol with 15 per cent of households,” he said.

“The majority of Australians (78 per cent) travelled to work or full-time study in a private motor vehicle, while 16 per cent used public transport,” Mr Cadogan-Cowper said. 

“New South Wales (21 per cent) and Victoria (17 per cent) had the highest level of public transport use.

“Of the eight million people who drove a private motor vehicle to work or full-time study, 23 per cent usually took passengers,” he said.