Currently reading: Average new car CO2 emissions rise as market shifts away from diesels
Average CO2 emissions of cars in the UK has grown by 0.7% year-on-year, yet manufacturers face a looming deadline for lower average outputs
Jimi Beckwith
News
2 mins read
21 December 2017

The average CO2 emissions of new cars on UK roads has grown by 0.8g/km to 121.3g/km in the third quarter of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016. 

The last quarter’s rise in emissions has been put down to the increasingly negative rhetoric regarding diesels since the emissions scandal of late 2015, which has culminated in higher taxes for new diesels, thus putting buyers off diesel cars, which typically have lower CO2 outputs than their petrol counterparts.

Average CO2 figures fell by just under 61g/km between 2000 and 2016, and car makers have an EU deadline for their fleet averages to be 95g/km or below by 2021

This then has to be reduced by a further 30%, to 66g/km, by 2030. This target has been criticised as being too aggressive by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

The stringent new targets, as well as the tax penalties, are designed to accelerate the uptake, both in production and purchase, of low-emissions vehicles such as hybrids and EVs. Despite these being the fastest-growing area of the new car industry, the segment still remains tiny. 

While select manufacturers are beginning their electrification strategies over the coming year, the majority of EV plans will come into full force in 2019, meaning that 2018’s average CO2 figure is likely to follow 2017’s suboptimal lead. 

In the first 11 months of 2017, hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles represented 4.7% of all new car registrations, having grown by 34.6% over the same period in 2016. 

The UK's fleet sector remains below the national average, at 111.6g/km, prompting British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association boss Gerry Keaney to say: “We currently have a poorly designed tax environment that encourages people to make their own arrangements rather than choosing a company car. This is putting older, higher-polluting grey fleet vehicles (employee-owned but used for work) on our roads.

“To this, we can add the demonisation of diesels and continued uncertainty around air quality measures, which are nudging people towards petrol cars. The inevitable result is that CO2 levels are increasing.”

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si73 21 December 2017

Ok so in the uk since the

Ok so in the uk since the diesel scandal sales have fallen and people are buying more petrol cars, petrol cars co2 outputs have fallen massively over the years and will continue to fall so while manufacturers are spending on cleaner diesel cars they are also spending on cleaner petrol cars so investments are surely still seeing a return and this small co2 rise will likely start to fall as cars get cleaner still, had the tax incentives not pushed diesels so much then maybe there would be more hybrids and even lower outputing petrols. Diesel was never the answer for everthing but was unfortunately sold and promoted by the press as being the best for all occasions.

Cé hé sin 21 December 2017

CO2 from petrol cars

"...petrol cars co2 outputs have fallen massively over the years and will continue to fall.."

Only if you believe the official figures! Real world fuel economy and therefore CO2 output for petrol engines hasn't shown anything like the same improvement as the paper figures.

catnip 22 December 2017

Cé hé sin wrote:

Cé hé sin wrote:

"...petrol cars co2 outputs have fallen massively over the years and will continue to fall.."

Only if you believe the official figures! Real world fuel economy and therefore CO2 output for petrol engines hasn't shown anything like the same improvement as the paper figures.

But of course the whole article is based around official figures, and we know how reliable they are. As has been said its really just a rehash of all the SMMT whingey articles telling us that diesel sales are down.

Marc 21 December 2017

Implement a Europe wide ban,

Implement a Europe wide ban, including the UK after their departure on large, overweight, over engined passenger vehicles. Max engine displacement of 2000cc, max weight of 1750kgs and a maximum vehicle size. Should give some lazy manufacturers something to sweat over.
spqr 21 December 2017

Same old nonsense

This is not a report of a scientific study but rather a re-hash of the SMMT press release earlier today. The SMMT has not conducted a study on the purported rise in CO2 levels. In fact no such study would show much of anything anyway as the so-called decline in diesel sales will not have had an appreciable effect on CO2 levels yet if indeed it ever does. This is pure scaremongering by a body dedicated to ensuring new car production and sales. Given that it has finally been recognised that diesel is enormously injurious to human health and the environment UK and European manufacturers have now got a massive over-capacity of diesel cars and diesel power units to shift the SMMT is trying to get you all to buy diesels. The Sheep who followed the Labour government line in the mid-noughties under Blair and Brown look like they are being taken in again by this load of old nonsense. 

jonrbloom 21 December 2017

They aren't reporting actual emmissions

This is referring to the average official figures for cars sold over the previous quarter. It simply states that people have started buying the higher CO2 models, and that's affected the average by which the manufacturers are judged.

So it's not scare mongering. Assuming it's not an outright lie, it's simply stating a fact.

And 'diesel is enourmously injurous to human health' is not an outright fact. That was surely true of previous generation diesels, but newer diesels are claimed to be significantly cleaner, and indeed many are now cleaner than some petrol cars. I haven't tested that claim, have you ?

Manufacturers don't have a diesel agenda. They have spent huge sums of money making diesels cleaner, due to legislation, and now governments have eroded their ability to recoup that investment by disinsentivising us from buying them. And to add insult to injury, they are now in danger of missing their binding targets on average co2 figures and will likely face huge fines in the future.

If I was a manufacturer I think I'd also be prety miffed.

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