New cars now average 50 mpg


The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today issued its 10th annual New Car CO2 Report that shows a 20% drop in CO2 of new cars since 2000.

The figures for 2010 dropped by 3.5% on the previous year to 144.2 g/km CO2, which is equivalent to about 50 mpg.

The Report shows that in 2010, almost 40% of cars had emissions below 130 g/km CO2 – the European fleet emissions target for 2015. Additionally, nearly 40,000 vehicles were exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) with emissions under 100 g/km (equivalent to about 70 mpg).

Reductions in average emissions were made across all model segments compared to 2009 levels, contributing to the significant drop over the past decade. Luxury saloons and MPVs made the biggest reduction over the past year, falling 6.4% and 6.0% respectively on 2009 figures and Executive (-28.1%) and Mini (-25.8%) segments recorded the biggest improvements against the levels of 2000.

“New technology has delivered impressive reductions in CO2 emissions but coordinated action, to support research and development, new infrastructure and consumer incentives, is critical to securing significant future advances,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “The economic and political challenges of high fuel prices, energy security and climate change are shared issues that must be addressed at an international level.”

Each of the four lowest emitting VED bands (ranging from 0 to 130 g/km CO2) increased in popularity representing almost 38.2% of the new car market, compared to less than 0.9% in 2000. This marks a positive move for industry as all manufacturers must reach a Europe-wide average for their vehicle fleets of 130 g/km CO2 by 2015. Every vehicle manufacturer has its own target, based on the weight of the cars they sell. These individual targets combine to make the 130 g/km average.

By 2012, 65% of the fleet must comply, with the proportion increasing towards total fleet compliance in 2015.

There is an ultimate target of 95 g/km CO2 by 2020, subject to impact assessment.

Segment performance:

A Mini eg smart fortwo, 2010 CO2 114.1 g/km
B Supermini eg Skoda Fabia, 2010 127.6 CO2 g/km
C Lower Medium eg VW Golf, 2010 CO2 140.6 g/km
D Upper Medium eg Toyota Prius, 2010 CO2 145.5 g/km
E Executive eg BMW 5 Series, 2010 CO2 169.4 g/km
F Luxury Saloon eg Audi A8, 2010 CO2 234.3 g/km
G Specialist Sports eg Honda CR-Z, 2010 CO2 191.0 g/km
H Dual Purpose (4×4/SUV) eg Kia Sportage, 2010 CO2 196.5 g/km
I Multi-Purpose Vehicle eg Citroen Nemo Multispace, 2010 CO2 159.6 g/km

The full SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2011 is free to download from