8.1.2013 New car CO2 continues to fall in UK
Average CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the UK fell to a new low of 133.1 g/km by the end of 2012, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
At the same time, total new car sales rose to a four-year high succeeding 2 million units, indicating improving consumer demand in the UK.
Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said, "Boosted by strong consumer demand, the market grew at its fastest rate for 11 years with innovative, fuel-efficient cars keeping buyers in showrooms."
The current average CO2 emissions of 133.1 g/km is 22.7% down on a decade ago, and makes the EU targets of 130 g/km by 2015 look highly achievable.
In 2012, the purchase of 'alternatively fuelled vehicles', which includes electric, hybrid, natural gas and biofuel cars and vans, increased at double the rate of petrol-fuelled cars, rising by 9.4% and achieving a new market share high of 1.4%.
While the number of petrol and diesel cars sold was far in excess of alternatively powered vehicles, new models such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in and several electric models are fast increasing the market share of alternative power sources.
The US has recently reported a surge in plug-in vehicles, with over 60,000 plug-in vehicles having been sold in total by the end of 2012 (see article). To an extent, the UK is likely to follow in this general trend; although a far smaller market, the first three quarters of 2012 saw 1,419 vehicles registered for the Plug-in Car Grant, almost double sold in the previous year.
The alternative fuel car market will be helped in 2013 by the arrival of several new all electric models including: the BMW i3, Tesla Model S and Renault Zoe. All have a winning combination of high quality, competitive prices and improved driving range and performance making them more attractive to car buyers who are increasingly demanding high-spec, fuel-efficient, low emission cars.
SMMT, The Guardian
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