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Seventh annual new car CO2 report shows cars are getting cleaner

Over the last ten years, significant and sustained progress has been made in cutting CO2 emissions from new cars. Among comprehensive figures in SMMT’s latest CO2 report is the headline that average CO2 has fallen 13% since 1997. Publication of the seventh annual report also reinforces the industry’s drive towards open and honest reporting on sustainability measures.

“Our latest CO2 report shows how far we have come, but also the challenges that lie ahead,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. “Industry is bringing more new technologies to market. Encouraging consumers to embrace these and choose lower-CO2 emitting variants must be our priority. However, this is not a task for industry alone; car makers, government, fuel companies and new car buyers have a role to play in delivering lower carbon motoring.”

Highlights from the report, which is available to download from the home page of the SMMT web site, include:

• A 13% improvement in average CO2 reduction since 1997

• 39.5% of new car market under 140g/km CO2 last year; just 3.9% in 1997

• Band B emitting cars set to overtake Band G sellers for the first time in 2008

• Diesel penetration at 40.2% in the UK; 26.5% in 1997

• Diesel duty lower than petrol in all major European markets except the UK

• Total CO2 emitted by cars has fallen 4.8% since 1997; 72.2 to 68.7 million tonnes

• Government revenue from motorists up from £33.8 to £45.1 bn since 1997

Paul Everitt added, “We shall be working with government to help shape the new car CO2 regulation, emphasising the need for appropriate lead-times, fines that are closely aligned to the market price of carbon and with suitable incentives for innovation. We will also be urging government to ensure that the diversity of the market and car manufacturing bases in the UK are protected.”

The report was launched to the All Party Motor Group of MPs at a House of Commons event on 17 March 2008.

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