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UK new car average C02 emissions fell 2.6% to a new low of 121.4g/km in 2015 says SMMT report

Thu 10 March 2016 | Back to news list

UK average new car CO2 emissions fell once again in 2015, to a new low of 121.4g/km according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) latest report. This was a 2.6% decline on 2014 (124.6g/km), a 32.9% fall on 2000 and a 26.4% decline since 2007.
While the rate of progress is on par with the 2.6% average achieved since 2000, the SMMT says it does represent a further slowdown on the level reported just after the recession – with the average rate of improvement being 3.9% between 2008 and 2014.
The UK’s 2015 performance was 6.6% below the pan-EU 2015 target of 130g/km. However, to achieve the EU's 2021 target of 95g/km, the SMMT says that progress of 4.8% a year is needed.
Registrations of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles rose by 94% on 2014 to account for more than 1% of the total market, while the alternatively fuelled vehicle (including hybrids) market share reached a new high of 2.8%. However, the report says that there is a significant gap between this and the government’s ambition of a 60% share of the market for pure and plug-in electric vehicles by 2030.
The report says that total emissions from all cars in use have been reduced by over 15% since 2007. Emissions have been cut despite the rise in vehicle use and the number of vehicles on the roads. This performance reflects new, lower emitting vehicles entering the market place. 
The report also comments on the significance of diesel cars in contributing to the achievement of CO2 reductions. The SMMT says that diesel cars can emit up to 20% less CO2 than a petrol car and that any measures aimed at undermining diesel uptake could erode the industry’s ability to meet the 2021 95g/km target.

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