The average CO2 emissions of new cars in Europe fell by 1.2% last year - the smallest annual percentage improvement for the last decade, according to figures from JATO Dynamics. Norway saw the largest decrease in CO2 levels, while the Netherlands and Denmark actually increased their emissions. This rise is put down to a reduction in tax incentives for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the Netherlands and increased tax rates for electric vehicles in Denmark, which led to a steep fall in demand for those classes of vehicles.
Overall in Europe, Peugeot was the most-improved brand – largely because of a lower emission average for its petrol engines - with average emissions of its vehicles dropping by 1.7g/km in 2016. The automotive industry is preparing for the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) to be introduced. This is expected to have a significant impact CO2 emissions monitoring, as it defines a global standard for assessing the levels of pollutants plus fuel or energy consumption from passenger cars and small vans.
“It’s clear that the industry is making progress: CO2 emissions declined,” says Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics. “The rate of decline has, however, slowed. This is due to the increased market share of gasoline vehicles and the deceleration of the growth of diesel vehicles. With WLTP imminent this is a significant year and it remains to be seen the impact it will have on emissions monitoring.” JATO’s figures cover cover 23 European markets and showed that average emissions were 117.8 g/km.