Blog: Dave LeggettWhen is a target not a target?

Dave Leggett | 27 January 2012

Just how do the average CO2 rules and targets in the EU apply to car manufacturers?

The people at have a helpful guide.

In 2012, only the lowest polluting 65% of each manufacturer’s range have to meet the official target of 130g/km. Full compliance is not due until 2015. The EU is fond of quoting “130g/km of CO2 by 2012”, but this is simply not the case, they point out. Many will miss the target this year, but the range of loopholes means that fines are unlikely.

Car manufacturers who make heavy cars have a higher target. Take the example of Mercedes: with an average weight of 1661 KG, its current target is 143g/km of CO2, not 130g/km of CO2.

Manufacturers who sell less than 300,000 cars in the EU do not have to meet the target anyway. So, a company that sells fewer than that can continue producing an average of, say 160g/km of CO2, without fear. The only restriction for these companies is that their CO2 has to be 25% lower than it was in 2007 – but that is largely academic. Market forces mean that any mainstream manufacturer that was producing cars with over 200g/km of CO2 in 2007 has had to cut by more than 25% anyway (the average measure is sales weighted).

There is some useful info on the cleangreencars website, including sales weighted CO2 by make and model. The handout PDF on this page is worth a look in terms of how the fines work out in practice.

cleangreencars website - industry section


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