Portugal blazes trail for lowest CO2 emissions
Portugal is the first country in Europe to achieve average emissions below 130g/km – the European fleet emissions target for 2015 – according to the report by JATO Dynamics, while Germany, Sweden and Switzerland are the biggest polluters
in Europe, with average emissions for new cars registered exceeding 150g/km.
The report – A Review of CO2 Car Emissions across Europe FY2010 – covers 21 European markets, of which, 19 are EU members.
JATO's research finds that there has been an acceleration in the rate of reduction of new car CO2 emissions despite the ending of scrappage schemes as well as gradually improving vehicle sales and an increasing market for fleet vehicles. Between 2009 and 2010 Europe dropped 5g/km, which is greater than that achieved in the three years from 2003 to 2006. Manufacturers appear to have made significant improvements, with more than 60% of all new cars sold having emissions of 140g/km or less,
compared to only 23% in 2003.
However, while most markets have made significant reductions in their car CO2 emission since 2005, the rate
of reduction in Central Europe has been slow with Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic only improving by less than 10g/km over this five-year period.
And while Sweden has improved the most, its emissions were still the second highest in the region.
Gareth Hession, vice president for research at JATO, commented: 'This is an impressive performance which may have been helped in part by tough economic conditions. This has encouraged consumers to seek smaller and cheaper vehicles which typically produce less CO2. It remains to be seen if this trend will be sustained as the economic climate begins to improve and people "trade up" to larger vehicles.'
Looking at the figures from individual car manufacturers, all of Europe’s top 20 brands improved their emissions in 2010 compared to 2009, with Fiat yet again recording the lowest average emissions, down 4.7g/km to 123.1 g/km. Toyota closed the gap to finish second with average CO2 emissions of 128.2g/km, down from 130.1 g/km in 2009.
Volvo is the most improved brand in the top 20 with emissions of 157.5g/km, largely due to the introduction of its “DRIVe” versions on many of its models.
Mr Hession added: 'Manufacturers have made significant improvements in 2010 and it will be fascinating to see how they respond to the law of diminishing returns as emerging "high efficiency" technology becomes more mainstream over the next five years.'