Thursday 17 January 2019

Ireland comes sixth in Europe for new car Co2 emissions but you won't believe who's second last

Bob Flavin

When it comes to new car sales we are on the rise with nearly 100k new cars hitting the road in 2014 but Co2 emissions are also falling. In a study carried out by the European Federation for Transport and Environment Ireland ranks sixth-lowest carbon dioxide emissions from new cars in Europe last year.

We have become good at some things and according to this study we are getting better at encouraging drivers into lower Co2 cars. Our tax system is Co2 based on new cars meaning the lower the Co2 from the car the less tax you pay.

The Netherlands came first and for good reason, they have encouraged drivers in electric cars with a whopping 5.3% of their fleet being all electric.

In Ireland we mostly buy diesel powered cars which are lower Co2 than the petrol alternative but that is changing as car companies make more efficient petrol version.

On the bottom of the table comes Poland and second last is Germany which is where we get most of our low Co2 cars from.

Germany’s 2013 average Co2 emissions are almost the worst performer of the EU15. Germany, the largest European car market with almost 3m new cars registered in 2013, does not have a significant car registration tax. The benefit-in-kind for a company car, at 12% of the car price per year, constitutes a huge subsidy, and is not differentiated for Co2.

Germany's federal government promotes a buyers labeling scheme so counterintuitive that it rates a 191g/km Porsche Cayenne the same as a 114g/km Citroen C3.

Ireland coming sixth is a reflection of the tax choices we make, if we were to encourage more electric cars onto the road we'd rank higher and have a cleaner environment. Cork wants to become the “electric car capital of Ireland” through the Drive4Zero pilot project. The scheme will bring much needed encouragement for electric car drivers like free parking, a doubling of the number of public charge points, a grant to fund the installation of home charge points and attractive car finance deals as part of a number of incentives.

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