18.4.2012 New car CO2 continues downward trend
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has published its 11th annual New Car CO2 Report, which has revealed that new cars registered in the UK last year were, on average, 18% more fuel efficient than the average car on the road.
Data analysing the emissions of all new cars registered in the UK showed a continued trend in falling emissions and improving fuel efficiency. 2011 emissions fell by 4.2% year on year to 138.1 g/km CO2 (equivalent to 52.5 mpg), down by more than 23% since reporting began in 2000.
The Report shows that in 2011, almost half of new cars (46.8%) had emissions below the 2015 European legislative target of 130 g/km CO2, versus 10.6% in 2007. Additionally, over 65,000 vehicles were exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) with sub-100 g/km cars (equivalent to about 70 mpg) almost doubling their market share to 3.4%.
Reductions in average emissions were made across all car segments versus 2010, contributing to the significant drop over the past decade. Executive and Specialist Sports cars made the biggest reduction over the past year, falling 9.5% and 7.0% respectively on 2010 figures.
Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "Industry can be proud of the progress it has made in reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency, 23% since 2000. The UK motor industry recognises its responsibilities and the industrial opportunities from the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles... We are seeing steady improvement in conventional technologies and the emergence of a range of alternative technologies, creating one of the most innovative periods for the global automotive industry."
Achieving record market shares, diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued their rise in popularity, taking 50.6% and 1.3% of the 2011 market respectively. Petrol-electric hybrid cars accounted for 92% of all AFV volumes in 2011 with an average CO2 output of 104 g/km, some 25% below the UK average. Though market development is in its earliest stages, EV registrations rose by 557% in 2011 to 1,098 units, aided by the introduction of new models and the Plug-In Car Grant.
While Next Green Car supports the determined efforts of the UK auto-industry to reduce new car (tailpipe) CO2, its Director and Managing Editor Dr Ben Lane sounds a note of caution: "Although it is the case that official CO2 emissions as measured on the European test cycle are reducing year on year, there is some uncertainty as to how this actually translates to real world CO2 performance.
"Real-world fuel economy tends to be 15-20% worse than the official 'combined' figure would suggest. Added to that manufacturers are becoming increasingly skilled in setting-up cars to pass the test with flying colours, while delivering higher power for the consumer, both of which suggests that actual CO2 emissions are not increasing as fast as the official figures indicate."
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