• Germany, Sweden and Switzerland trail rest of Europe on improvements to emissions
  • Portugal claims top spot from France to become Europe’s lowest CO2 emitting automotive market
  • Despite fears that the end of scrappage schemes would hamper progress, CO2 emissions continue to fall

Portugal has claimed the position of Europe’s most 'fuel conscious' country with the lowest CO2 emissions for new cars, according to new research.

It is the first country in Europe to achieve average emissions below 130g/km, according to the latest study of CO2 emissions covering 21 European markets, of which 19 are EU members.

The report – A Review of CO2 Car Emissions across Europe FY2010 - from UK-based JATO Dynamics finds that Germany, Sweden and Switzerland are the biggest polluters in Europe, with average emissions for new cars registered exceeding 150 g/km.

The report finds that despite the ending of scrappage schemes, gradually improving vehicle sales and an increasing market for fleet vehicles, CO2 emissions continue to fall across the region. Between 2009 and 2010 Europe dropped 5g/km, which is greater than that achieved in the three years from 2003 to 2006. Manufacturers appear to have made significant improvements, with more than 60% of all new cars sold having emissions of 140 g/km or less, compared to only 23% in 2003.

Rate of reduction

The industry has come a long way in the past five years, with CO2 levels across Europe reducing by 21.4g/km between 2005 and 2010. While most markets have made significant reductions in their car CO2 emission since 2005, the rate of reduction in Central Europe has been slow with Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic only improving by less than 10g/km over this five-year period.

While Sweden has improved the most, its emissions were still the second highest in the region in 2010.

JATO research chief Gareth Hession said: “This is an impressive performance which may have been helped in part by tough economic conditions. This has encouraged consumers to seek smaller and cheaper vehicles which typically produce less CO2. It remains to be seen if this trend will be sustained as the economic climate begins to improve and people ‘trade up’ to larger vehicles.”

All of Europe’s top twenty brands improved their emissions in 2010 compared to 2009, with Fiat yet again recording the lowest average emissions down 4.7g/km to 123.1g/km. Toyota closed the gap to finish second with average CO2 emissions of 128.2g/km, down from 130.1g/km in 2009.

Volvo is the most improved brand in the top 20 with emissions of 157.5g/km, largely due to the introduction of its 'DRIVe' versions of many of its models. Outside the top 20, Ferrari was once again the most improved brand in terms of percentage reductions in 2010, albeit with high average emissions of 326.8g/km, 46.3g/km lower than in 2009.

Hession: “Manufacturers have made significant improvements in 2010 and it will be fascinating to see how they respond to the law of diminishing returns as emerging ‘high efficiency’ technology becomes more mainstream over the next five years.”

EU Targets

The overall target for all new cars in Europe, as defined by EU regulation, is 130g/km for 2015. The regulation provides a calculation defining an individual target for each manufacturer group in proportion to the average kerb weight of its cars.

The majority of Europe’s top manufacturer groups have reduced the distance to their targets in 2010 through an improvement in emissions compared to 2009.

Fiat Group recorded the lowest average emissions of 125.9g/km, while Toyota is the closest group to meeting its target based on the analysis of 2010.

Volume-weighted average CO2 emissions of Europe’s top 20 brands

Brand

2009 Avg CO2

2010
Avg
CO2

Difference

FIAT

127.8

123.1

-4.7

TOYOTA

130.1

128.2

-1.9

SEAT

140.9

131.3

-9.6

PEUGEOT

133.5

131.4

-2.1

CITROEN

137.9

131.8

-6.1

RENAULT

137.6

134.0

-3.6

FORD

140.0

136.9

-3.1

SUZUKI

142.4

137.3

-5.1

HYUNDAI

137.5

137.4

-0.1

OPEL/VAUXHALL

148.5

139.4

-9.1

SKODA

149.1

139.9

-9.2

KIA

146.8

140.1

-6.7

VOLKSWAGEN

150.4

141.0

-9.4

HONDA

147.13

147.11

-0.02

NISSAN

154.6

147.2

-7.4

DACIA

151.3

147.6

-3.7

BMW

157.2

152.9

-4.4

AUDI

160.9

152.9

-8.0

VOLVO

171.2

157.4

-13.8

MERCEDES

176.4

172.2

-4.2

EU Targets

Manufacturer Group

2010

2009

Rank by Avg CO2 (g/km)

2015 CO2 Target (g/km)

Avg CO2 (g/km)

Avg Kerb Weight (kg)

Distance to 2015 Target

Avg CO2 (g/km)

Avg Kerb Weight (kg)

Change
2009/

2010

TOYOTA

2

124.8

130.0

1258

4.2%

132.1

1210

-2.1

PSA

3

125.2

131.6

1267

5.1%

135.5

1266

-4.0

BMW

12

138.1

147.9

1548

7.1%

151.8

1526

-3.9

FIAT

1

116.1

125.9

1067

8.4%

130.9

1070

-5.1

VOLKSWAGEN

9

130.9

142.5

1391

8.9%

151.5

1368

-9.0

FORD

5

125.3

136.9

1268

9.3%

140.0

1257

-3.1

GM

8

127.5

139.8

1318

9.6%

147.5

1275

-7.7

RENAULT

4

123.4

136.3

1228

10.4%

139.7

1213

-3.4

HYUNDAI

7

125.4

138.6

1271

10.5%

141.5

1244

-3.0

HONDA

10

127.7

147.13

1322

15.2%

147.11

1319

-0.02

SUZUKI

6

117.5

137.3

1099

16.8%

142.4

1107

-5.2

NISSAN

11

125.7

147.8

1278

17.6%

155.0

1281

-7.2

MAZDA

13

127.5

149.9

1316

17.6%

149.4

1268

+0.5

DAIMLER

14

136.4

163.3

1511

19.8%

166.3

1481

-3.0