Average emissions of new cars decrease further in 2010

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has issued its 10th annual New Car CO2 Report that shows more reductions in average emissions of new cars.

2010 figures dropped by 3.5 per cent on the previous year to 144.2g/km CO2 (equivalent to about 50mpg), which is down by more than 20 per cent since 2000.

The report also shows that in 2010, almost 40 per cent of cars had emissions below 130g/km CO2, meeting the European fleet emissions target for 2015.

Additionally, nearly 40,000 vehicles were exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), with emissions of less than 100g/km (equivalent to about 70mpg). Reductions in average emissions were made across all model segments versus 2009 levels, contributing to the significant drop over the past decade.

Luxury saloons and MPVs are said to have made the biggest reduction over the past year, falling 6.4 per cent and 6 per cent respectively on 2009 figures and Executive (-28.1 per cent) and Mini (-25.8 per cent) segments recorded the biggest improvements against the levels of 2000.

‘New technology has delivered impressive reductions in CO2 emissions but coordinated action, to support research and development, new infrastructure and consumer incentives, is critical to securing significant future advances,’ said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. ‘The economic and political challenges of high fuel prices, energy security and climate change are shared issues that must be addressed at an international level.’

Each of the four lowest-emitting VED bands (ranging from 0 to 130g/km CO2) increased in popularity representing almost 38.2 per cent of the new car market, compared to less than 0.9 per cent in 2000.

According to the SMMT, this marks a positive move for industry as all manufacturers must reach a Europe-wide average for their vehicle fleets of 130g/km CO2 by 2015. 

The full SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2011 can be read here.