24.8.2012 Car makers on track to meet CO2 targets
Car makers have been set a target by the European Commission to achieve average CO2 emissions of below 130 g/km from 65% of their total vehicle fleets – the target will begin to be phased in from 2012, but all manufacturers must comply by 2015.
15 of the 31 major vehicle manufacturers have already met this target, and so have no worries about facing the fines for not conforming. So far this year, Fiat has the lowest average CO2 of just 113 g/km, with Toyota and Lexus in second and third place.
Each manufacturer have their own specific target based on the types and sizes of vehicles that they sell – manufacturers of heavier vehicle types will have a higher g/km 'allowance'. An extension to the regulation means that a 95g/km target will be in force by 2020.
Last year we reported that it was looking like many manufacturers were struggling to meet the targets; however more recent trends suggest that the industry as a whole is on track to avoiding the fines. This year-to-date, the total market average CO2 is 133.45, compared to 139.57 by this time last year – a 4.38% improvement.
With more than half the major manufacturers already past the target, it appears that the highest emitters are catching up quickly. For example, the two highest emitting manufacturers, Porsche and Land Rover have both cut their average CO2 by 10% in the last year alone – meaning that no major manufacturer is likely to end 2012 with a figure of over 200 g/km.
Diesel car popularity has played an important role, as they generally have lower CO2 emissions. Although only representing 0.07% of all cars sold across the EU, electric vehicles are helping to reduce average CO2 figures due to their 0 g/km tailpipe output. Across Europe, there was a ten-fold increase in electric car sales from 2010 to 2011, suggesting increasing interest in this technology.
However, in actual fact the car companies that miss the target have nothing to fear. In 2012, only the lowest polluting 65% of each manufacturer’s range have to meet the target. Full compliance is not due until 2015. The EU is fond of quoting "130g/km of CO2 by 2012", but this is simply not the case.
Firstly, it only applies to manufacturers that sell over 300,000 cars in Europe, and then it only states that the lowest emitting 65% of their cars must fall below 130 g/km. If the manufacturer makes heavy cars however, a higher threshold is set.
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