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Europe’s carmakers on target for 95g/km CO2 by 2020

European carmakers are winning the battle against emissions according to a new study from Transport and Environment (T&E).

The latest T&E report reveals that European car manufacturers are in a better position than most of their Asian counterparts to meet the target for a 95g/km average CO2 emissions by 2020.

In the race to hit the 2020 95g target, all European makers (except Daimler, Volvo and BMW) rank in the top 9 while three of the bottom six carmakers are Asian.

Fiat-still leading the way in meeting emissions targets

T&E’s ‘2012 cars and CO2’ report reveal that the car industry as a whole cut CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of their new cars by 3.3 per cent in 2011. This means that, four years before the compliance date, the 130 g/CO2 target for 2015 is, on average, just 4 per cent away. Fiat, Toyota and Peugeot-Citroën have already met their CO2 targets for 2015 four years ahead of time.

Overall annual progress in reducing CO2 emissions from cars over the past four years was 4 per cent. On the basis of those recent improvements and current positions, the report estimates that Europe’s carmakers will only need to improve fuel efficiency by an annual rate of 3.8% to meet the 95 g/km CO2 target for 2020.

T&E director Jos Dings said: “We already knew that Europe’s carmakers were on track to exceed 2015 targets by a big margin. We now know that most are also on track for 2020, and that European carmakers are generally better placed than most of their Asian competitors. Therefore we should act now to set a 2025 standard of 60 g/km. At stake is not only the future of our planet, but also more disposable money in consumers’ pockets, who save on their fuel bills from low carbon vehicles.”

While the results paint a positive picture for the European car industry, the environmental lobby group does expressed concerns that carmakers aren’t just making genuine improvements to their cars, they are also ‘optimising’ them to achieve the best results from official tests of their emission and fuel economy. That means that the gap between official and ‘real world’ vehicle fuel consumption is growing.

T&E clean vehicles manager Greg Archer said: “It is clear that part of carmakers’ progress does not come from the engineers making their cars more efficient on the road, but rather from manipulating the way they are tested. This should stop; cuts on paper should correspond with cuts on the road, if not, our CO2 targets must be tightened to account for the efficiency lost."

Average fleet emissions in 2011 and percentage change over 2010 

1. Fiat (average emissions in 2011: 119.4g/km CO2. Percentage change over 2010: –5.1%)

2. Toyota (126.8g/km CO2, down 2.2%)

3. Peugeot-Citroen (127.4g/km CO2, down 2.9%)

4. Renault (131.4g/km, down 3.3%)

5. Suzuki (131.6g/km, down 3.7%)

6. Ford (132.2g/km, down 3.2%)

7. Hyundai (134.2g/km CO2, down 2.7%)

8. General Motors (135.4g/km CO2, down 2.6%)

9. Volkswagen (137.9g/km CO2, down 3.9%)

10. Nissan (142..9g/km CO2, down 2.9%)

11. BMW (144.8g/km CO2, down 1.9%)

12. Honda (144.9g/km CO2, down 1.4%)

13. Mazda (146.6g/km CO2, down 1.8%)

14. Volvo (151.4g/km CO2, down 3.5%)

15. Daimler (153.5g/km CO2, down 4.6%)

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Faye Sunderland

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