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EU car makers further away from their 2021 CO2 targets

5 April 2019

All but three car manufacturers met their specific CO2 emission targets in 2017, based on current European vehicle test rules. Nevertheless, average CO2 emissions from new cars sold in the European Union in 2017 rose by 0.4 g/km from 2016, according to a report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) that documents the latest official data submitted by EU Member States and vehicle manufacturers. This increase brings car manufacturers further away from their 2021 targets.

According to the final data in the EEA report Monitoring CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and new vans in 2017, average CO2 emissions of a new car sold in the EU rose by 0.4 g/km in 2017 to 118.5 g/km, from 118.1 g CO2/km in 2016. Although this level remains below the current target level of 130 g CO2/km, it is well above the target of 95 g CO2/km to be achieved by 2021.

Average CO2 emissions: historical development and targets for new passenger cars and vans in the EU-28

This suggests that it may be challenging for manufacturers to reach their 2021 targets. The troubling trend of increasing emissions—driven in part by the declining sales of diesel cars which are being replaced by petrol vehicles—continued in 2018, according to recent unofficial CO2 data by Jato Dynamics.

Average CO2 emissions of new light commercial vehicles (vans) dropped by 7.5 g/km from 2016. The average new van registered in 2017 emitted 156.1 g CO2/km. This reduction brings the EU average emissions 11% below the 2017 target of 175 g/km and 6% above the 2020 target.

While all van manufacturers respected their specific emission targets in 2017, three car manufacturers (Automobili Lamborghini, Mazda Motor Corporation and Société des Automobiles Alpine), representing together 1.4% of all new car sales in 2017, exceeded their specific emission targets for 2017. Other key findings of the report are:

In December 2018, EU lawmakers reached an agreement on fleet average emission targets from new cars for 2025 and 2030, which aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% in 2025 and by 37.5% in 2030, compared with 2021 baseline levels. For light-commercial vehicles, the targets consist of reductions by 15% in 2025 and 31% in 2030, relative to 2021.

Source: European Environment Agency