New cars over 25% more fuel-efficient than in 2000, finds SMMT
The New Car CO2 report – released today (14 March) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – found that the number of sub-100g/km CO2 cars rocketed in 2012, more than doubling their share of the market to 8.2% in the year.
It added that this trend towards low emissions and maximum fuel efficiency was reflected by the number of cars registered with less than 130g/km of CO2 emissions. This emission level is the target average limit set by Europe for manufacturers to achieve by 2015 and last year more than half the market – 55.4% – met the level or improved on it.
As a result, UK average new car CO2 emissions improved 3.6% in 2012 to 133.1g/km CO2 – or 26.5% better than 2000.
In addition, diesel and alternatively-fuelled cars took record shares in 2012, taking 50.8% and 1.4% respectively. Petrol-electric hybrids accounted for 85% of all AFV volumes in 2012 with an average CO2 output of 98.7g/km, some 26% below the UK average. And though the SMMT acknowledged that market development is in its earliest stages, Electric and Plug-In vehicle registrations rose 111.8% in 2012 to 2,237 units, aided by the introduction of new models and the Plug-In Car Grant.
Matthew Croucher, author of the SMMT’s report, said: ‘Industry can be proud of the progress it has made in reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency by more than 25% since 2000. The UK motor industry recognises its responsibilities and the industrial opportunities from the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles.’
However, the SMMT added that if carmakers are to meet the stringent EU legislative target of 95g/km CO2 by 2020, ‘successive governments must commit to a strong long-term industrial policy that provides the certainty required by international firms to sustain investments in low carbon R&D in the UK. Government needs to provide consistency on taxation and maintain and expand incentives like the Plug-In Car Grant, which encourage consumers to move towards low carbon and more fuel-efficient technologies.’