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LowCVP response to the SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2017

Thu 02 March 2017 | Back to news list


(Media notice:) The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership is pleased to receive the latest report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) which provides a key piece of evidence in tracking progress on road transport decarbonisation. 

We are concerned at the slowing headline rate of CO2 reduction in both cars and vans. (UK average new car CO2 fell 1.1% in 2016 vs 2015, compared with 2.6%; 2.9% and 3.6% in the previous three years.) 

We need to see a ramping-up in the rate of take-up in the market for plug-in cars and other low emission alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). These are critical technologies in the transition and some of the signals, such as the VED incentive to encourage consumers to buy lower CO2 cars are being eroded with upcoming changes. 

Andy Eastlake, LowCVP’s Managing Director said: “Today’s report should come as an early warning to all stakeholders that while our focus on dramatically improving the air quality in our cities is absolutely necessary, we must not take our eyes off the ball in terms of carbon reduction. 

“We need to redouble our efforts to find the most innovative ways to encourage even lower CO2 cars to be taken up in the mass market by UK consumers and fleets. 

“We believe there is a like-for-like CO2 advantage in running diesel vs petrol in motorway/long-distance use. The task of transforming the diesel car fleet to deliver the low air quality emissions performance we are seeing from the latest trucks is very challenging, but in motorway operations a highly efficient combustion engine (such as diesel) is currently the lowest carbon practical solution. We need to ensure that we use the most appropriate available technology in each situation.” 

In the context of road transport, the climate change and air quality agendas are closely interlinked. The LowCVP is at the centre of this discussion and is working to help deliver policy guidance, market information and other actions that can deliver a ‘win-win’ outcome. 

See the SMMT’s New Car CO2 report here.

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