EEA: All major car manufacturers hit 2012 CO2 target

Every major car manufacturer has met their 2012 targets for vehicles' average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Cars sold by the 20 companies selling more than 100,000 cars in 2012 made up 94.5% of the total fleet, and emitted 130.4 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g CO2/km) on average, which is 1.8 g lower than the European fleet average.

Of the large manufacturers, Fiat had the lowest average emissions (117g CO2/km), while Renault, Peugeot, Toyota and Citroen also had emissions well below the average.

At the other end of the scale, Daimler cars emitted 143g CO2/km on average, with similar emissions levels from cars made by Volvo, Mazda and GM Korea.

Compared to 2011, Daimler and Volvo decreased their emission by more than 9g CO2/km. More than 10% of the vehicles sold by Toyota and Renault emitted less than 95g CO2/km.

However, the EEA says that most will need to sell increasingly efficient vehicles to meet targets in 2015 and beyond, despite nine of the larger manufacturers already meeting 2015 targets.

EEA executive director Hans Bruyninckx said: “Carmakers’ rate of progress suggests that future objectives are certainly attainable. At the same time, however, the EEA looks towards a future transition of the mobility system beyond making efficiency gains in internal combustion engine technology.”

Carbon emissions of the average car sold in the EU fell 2.6% between 2011 and 2012, cutting the EU average to 132.2 g CO2/km. This is close to the 130g target for the average new car sold in 2015.

Each manufacturer has a different target, based on the average mass of their fleet, which is gradually phased in, meaning that in 2012 only 65% of each manufacturer’s fleet needed to meet the target, increasing to 100% of cars in 2015.

By 2020, current legislation states that the average car sold in the EU must not emit more than 95g CO2/km.

“The average car sold in the EU is now over 20% more efficient than a decade ago, which is clearly good news,” said Bruyninckx.

The industry, however, has been criticised for using “loopholes” such as supercredits for selling electric vehicles and manipulating fuel efficiency tests to meet their CO2 limits.

The EEA report says that although ‘super credits’ give carmakers an advantage for selling electric vehicles or cars with very low emissions, these credits did not influence whether large manufacturers met their targets.

According to the EEA, ‘super credits’ will be phased out between 2012 and 2016.

Leigh Stringer

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