Saturday 21 October 2017

New cars meeting EU targets for emissions two years early

Louise McBride

Louise McBride

Those who bought a new car last year own some of the most environmentally friendly models around – new cars sold across the EU in 2013 have met their EU targets for lower carbon dioxide emissions two years ahead of deadline, according to a new report.

The report, by the European Environment Agency (EEA), found that the average CO2 emissions given out by a new car sold in 2013 were 127 grams per km – significantly below the 2015 target of 130g.

"The average car sold last year was almost 10 per cent more carbon efficient than the average car sold in 2010, when monitoring started," said Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the EEA. "This is good news. But passenger transport still generates a significant part of total greenhouse gas emissions of the EU, so we need to think about more sustainable transport systems – the car cannot solve all our problems in the 21st Century."

The most efficient cars were bought in the Netherlands – where the average amount of CO2 emitted by a new car was 109g per km, followed by Greece (111g) and Portugal (112g). Cars bought in Ireland last year were the seventh most efficient in the EU, with the average amount of CO2 emitted coming to 120.6g, according to the report. The country selling the least efficient cars was Latvia (147g) followed by Estonia (147g) and Bulgaria (142g).

Higher sales of diesel cars – which nowadays typically have lower CO2 emissions than petrol ones – is one of the main reasons that the cars sold last year were so environmentally friendly. Just over half of all new cars sold across the EU last year were diesel models. But as diesel prices rise, that may change.

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