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Average UK new car CO2 emissions fell 1.4% in 2007

Tue 18 March 2008 | Back to news list

Emissions of carbon dioxide from new cars sold in the UK fell by 1.4% on average in 2007, compared with 2006. Publishing its seventh annual new car CO2 report, the SMMT said that average emissions have fallen by 13% since 1997. The motor manufacturers trade body also said that total CO2 emissions from new cars have fallen nearly 5% over the same period.

Average UK new car CO2 emissions were 164.9g/km in 2007 compared with 167.2g/km in 2006 - a 1.4% fall. Average emissions fell 1.3% in 2006 compared with 2005 and 1.2% in 2005 vs 2004.

Among other statistics highlighted in the report was the increase - to 39.5% - of the new car market comprising vehicles under 140g/km (the industry's 2008/9 voluntary commitment target level) compared with 3.9% in 1997.

One of the main reasons for the fall in average new car emissions since 1997 has been the increased diesel penetration. 40.2% of cars sold in 2007 were powered by diesel fuel compared with 26.5% in 1997.

Paul Everitt the SMMT chief executive said: “Industry is bringing more new technologies to market. Encouraging consumers to embrace these and choose lower-CO2 emitting variants must be our priority. However, this is not a task for industry alone; car makers, government, fuel companies and new car buyers have a role to play in delivering lower carbon motoring.”

Speaking at the launch of the report  at a House of Commons reception co-hosted by the All Party Motor Group of MPs, Mr Everitt confirmed that the European motor industry has fallen some way short of its voluntary commitment to reach a new car fleet average of 140g/km by this year. He acknowledged that this is the reason the European Commission is pursuing a regulatory approach to ensure steeper emissions cuts from the car sector in future.

Reporting on the SMMT announcement, Autocar says that the car industry will need to double the rate at which they make and buy low carbon cars if the UK industry is to meet the EU's planned industry-average 130g/km target by 2015. It says that the industry will need to double the rate of progress in fleet average emissions cuts - to around 5g/km per year - if it is to meet the 2015 goal. 

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