Case Study 1.1: Green Vehicle Guide
The Department's efforts to highlight information on the Green Vehicle Guide (GVG) website about the fuel consumption, pollution and greenhouse gas performance of new vehicles sold in Australia has been successful in striking a chord with new car buyers, the motoring media and industry.
Established in 2004, the GVG website www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au is the only information source which rates the environmental performance of all new light vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass) sold in Australia. Detailed information, including details of engine and transmission, body style, seating and fuel type, helps users to identify and compare the performance attributes of specific vehicle models.
The site provides flexibility for users, enabling them to undertake vehicle searches and comparisons using a range of parameters. A fuel cost calculator was added in 2007-08.
The ongoing goal of the Department's campaign is to increase awareness and use of the website and establish it as the premier source for information on the environmental performance of new light vehicles on the Australian market.
During 2007-08, the campaign included national 'bus back' advertisements in major cities, internet search engine advertisements, promotion at key conferences and events, and distribution of promotional information materials such as posters, fact sheets and brochures. The paid advertising component of the campaign ran for six weeks.
The campaign made use of a relatively small advertising budget to target motorists and new car buyers in the most cost-effective way. Research has shown that the campaign's visuals and catch phrase, 'Make a smarter choice', resonate with the target audience.
Use of the website has increased, from an average of 8,500 visits per month in its first year (2004-05) to over 22,800 per month in 2007-08. The use of GVG information by motoring magazines, governments, businesses and the general public has also increased. The GVG is frequently referenced in general media articles related to new vehicle model releases.
Governments at all levels now use GVG ratings for vehicle fleet purchasing, and the Australian Capital Territory Government uses the ratings to determine new vehicle stamp duty rates to encourage the purchase of low-emission models. The GVG campaign was awarded the prestigious Public Relations Institute of Australia (ACT) 2008 Award for Excellence for a Government Sponsored Campaign.