If you follow the automotive industry, you will be aware that - in simple terms - by the end of this year European manufacturers have to hit a fleet emissions average of 95g/km of CO2 for the cars they sell across the region or face huge fines.

While no manufacturer has stuck its hand up and admitted it will miss the target, a report by industry analysts JATO Dynamics has projected the bill for the industry could be as high as 34 billion euros (£29bn).

New car registrations fall for third consecutive year

The threat of these fines is why the number of plug-in hybrid and electric cars being put on sale is growing exponentially; without mass registrations of these technologies the car makers are in big trouble.

It is a huge problem exacerbated by the collapse in lower CO2 (but higher NOx and particulate) diesel sales, the switch to more stringent WLTP testing and the growing sales of bigger, heavier SUVs. A look at today’s UK-specific figures show highlights that, with the average CO2 figure for cars sold in the past three years rising again.

It’s a major headache for all car makers, albeit still with some opportunities to get out of jail: several manufacturers are already buying credits from car makers with sub-95g/km outputs, for instance (the most high profile being Fiat-Chrysler buying from Tesla) and there are rumours of car makers switching their entire company fleets over to electrified vehicles, to ensure they are part of the registration pool in the event of the car buying public not flocking to buy into the new technologies.