• Over 50% of the European new car market is 140g/km or less
  • Low-CO2 cars (101-120 g/km) increased market share by 8.9% in 2009
  • Fiat tops the 2009 volume-weighted CO2chart
  • Toyota holds lowest CO2 models

As another batch of environmentally-friendly new models are unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, research firm JATO Dynamics say that the volume-weighted average CO2 emissions across all car models and segments in Europe fell by 7.9g/km last year, with over half of all cars sold in Europe now emitting less than 140g/km.

This reduction has accelerated, compared with 2008, which saw CO2 emissions reduce by 5.4g/km, JATO says.

The majority of this decrease is being driven by shifts in buying habits towards smaller, low-CO2 cars, with the three lowest CO2 bands increasing market share, at the expense of bands above 140g/km. In particular, the 101-120g/km band experienced a market share gain of 8.9%, from 16.7% to 25.6%.

Shifting consumer behaviour has also been guided by the popularity of small, low-CO2 emitting cars in national scrappage schemes, which heavily influenced European new car sales in 2009.

“The marked reduction in average CO2 emissions is a consequence of changing buying habits and in particular, the downsizing to smaller, more economical cars, driven by scrappage incentives and recessionary uncertainties,” commented David Di Girolamo, Head of JATO Consult.

“This is accelerating the decreases made through the introduction of new, ever-more efficient models and technologies. The achievement here should not be under-estimated: car makers are offering models that are safer and more feature-rich, whilst still improving their environmental credentials.”

The most improved brands overall are often low-volume exotic and supercar marques and indeed Ferrari leads the way, reducing volume-weighted CO2 emissions in the past year by 53.6g/km.

However, the second highest improver is Porsche, which has reduced its volume-weighted CO2 emissions by 27.5g/km, on 2009 sales of 32,960, a significant achievement against such a sales volume that is due in part to the introduction of the brand’s diesel engine, available in the Cayenne 4x4.

The best overall brand reduction was achieved by Alfa Romeo, which lowered emissions by 18.3g/km over the year, on sales of 109,542. Fiat remains the lowest overall volume brand for CO2, with an average of 127.8g/km, although Toyota has moved to a close second from fifth in 2008, largely due to the European market penetration of its Yaris models, displacing Citroen and Peugeot from their respective 2008 positions.

Whilst most of the top 10 brands, by volume, have simply shuffled position, Audi is a new entry, replacing BMW in 9th position. This is due to continued strong sales of the A3 model, reducing sales of the brand’s larger, less efficient models and working to reduce CO2 emissions across the range, particularly on the high-volume A4 2.0-litre TDi.

Some brands are already ahead of future EU targets – smart, Fiat and Mini are under the average 130g/km mark, not required for all makes until 2015, while Toyota is only 0.1g/km adrift, according to JATO.

It is Toyota that also claims the best individual model performance during 2009, with the Toyota Prius being the lowest CO2 model in Europe, with an average 2009 CO2 output of only 95.6g/km. However, the best volume model is its sister car, the Yaris, with an average CO2 of 119.0g/km, down 12.4g/km compared with 2008.

Beyond the top 20 models, by volume, the Ford Ka was notable for its 25.5 g/km reduction, although this is mainly due to the all-new model being launched, which has introduced a diesel option for the first time.

With over half of Europe’s new car volume now under the 2008 EU threshold of 140g/km, it is no surprise that the four out of the five lowest-CO2 manufacturer groups are all comfortably beating this target. Fiat Group remains at the top of the chart for low-CO2 motoring, but the gap to Toyota Group has dramatically reduced, with PSA and Renault close behind. All of these groups are now within sight of the EU target of 130g/km, which must be met by 2015.

“The efforts made by the car industry to reduce emissions are clear to see in these figures, not only in reducing absolute emissions levels, but also in making their smaller cars attractive and appealing against larger vehicles. This has helped drive a major shift in buying habits over the past year which is accelerating CO2 reduction.” concluded Di Girolamo.

Volume-weighted average CO2 emissions of the top 10 brands by volume

Make

2009 Volumes

Average CO2 (g/km) 2009

Position in 2008

FIAT

1,009,106

127.8

1st

TOYOTA

702,048

130.1

5th

PEUGEOT

986,584

133.6

2nd

RENAULT

1,081,289

137.5

4th

CITROEN

863,243

137.9

3rd

FORD

1,284,316

140.0

6th

OPEL/VAUXHALL

1,055,652

148.9

7th

VOLKSWAGEN

1,631,560

150.4

8th

AUDI

605,771

160.9

11th

MERCEDES

582,299

176.4

10th

Volume-weighted average CO2 emissions of the top 20 models by volume

Make

2009 Volumes

Average CO2 (g/km) 2009

TOYOTA YARIS

209,635

119.0

FIAT 500

186,404

119.9

FIAT PANDA

299,139

122.4

FORD FIESTA

470,647

125.6

FIAT PUNTO

323,990

127.9

RENAULT CLIO

311,844

129.4

PEUGEOT 207

366,546

132.0

VOLKSWAGEN POLO

282,603

132.7

RENAULT MEGANE

228,587

134.9

PEUGEOT 308

219,740

136.5

OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA

351,844

137.0

AUDI A3/S3

184,514

140.0

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF

568,838

140.7

SKODA FABIA

217,088

142.5

FORD FOCUS

308,633

144.8

OPEL/VAUXHALL ASTRA

275,385

147.5

BMW SERIES 3

199,451

148.4

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT

210,041

151.9

AUDI A4/S4/RS4

192,991

153.7

NISSAN QASHQAI

180,970

162.1

 

Make Group

CO2 2009

FIAT

131.0

TOYOTA

132.2

PSA

135.6

RENAULT

139.6

HYUNDAI

141.6

 

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