New car emissions are falling fast enough to meet EU targets for first time as buyers turn away from gas-guzzling vehicles.
Average CO2 emissions for new cars now stands at 156.6g/km – that’s 7.4g/km less than a year ago, according to research by Clean Green Cars.
If this rate of decline continues, average new car CO2 emissions will fall below the EU’s proposed 130g/km target by 2012. That’s something the car-makers had previously argued was impossible.
The research suggests that this drop is not being driven by legislation, but by the gloomy economic conditions.
Sales figures for September rammed home the fact that buyers are turning away from higher-emissions 4x4s and luxury cars; the market for these models fell 40 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile city cars bucked the downward trend, with sales of more fuel-efficient models rising by 17 per cent last month. It’s this change, along with the drive to launch more CO2-efficient models, that’s brought average emissions levels in-line with EU targets.
Market analyst Jay Nagley of Clean Green Cars said “Consumers may force the car industry to meet the target, rendering the argument with the EU irrelevant.”