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Car CO2 emissions rise in EU for second consecutive year

John Wood ·
exhaust fumes

Average emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU) increased for the second consecutive year in 2018, according to provisional data published by the European Environment Agency.

Average new car CO2 emissions across the EU rose 2.0g CO2 per km to 120.4g, and for the first time, the average CO2 emissions from new vans also increased.

Average UK new car CO2 emissions data recently released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed a rise of 2.9%, worse than the EU average.

The provisional data has been published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) based on emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU) in 2018. After a steady decline from 2010 to 2016, by almost 22 grammes of CO2 per km, average emissions from new passenger cars increased in 2017 by 0.4 g CO2 per.

In 2018 vans emitted on average 158.1 g CO2 per km, which is 2.0 grams more than in 2017. This is the first increase in average CO2 emissions from new vans since the regulation came into force in 2011, following a sharp decrease in 2017.

The EEA says that the main factors contributing to the increase of new passenger cars’ emissions in 2018 include the growing share of petrol cars in new registrations, in particular in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment.

The agency says that many factors affected the increase in CO2 emissions from new vans in 2018, including an increase in the mass, engine capacity and size of the vehicles. The market share of petrol vehicles also increased, constituting 3.6 % of the new vans fleet (2.4 % in 2017). The share of zero- and low-emission vans remained at the same level (1.7 %) as in 2017.

From 2021 car manufacturers will have to reduce emissions of their fleet significantly to meet a target averaging 95g CO2 per km.

For vans the EU target is decreasing to 147g CO2 per km from next year.

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