New car emissions in the UK drop below 130g/km CO2

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The average new car in the UK in 2013 emitted 128.3g/km CO2 – a 3.6% decrease over the previous year, and almost 30% better than in 2000 – and this drops below the 2015 EU-wide fleet average target of 130g/km CO2.

These figures have been revealed in the SMMT’s New Car CO2 Report 2014.

Vehicle makers have invested heavily to develop, deliver and market lower CO2-emitting cars, but progress has also been supported by consumer buying behaviour.

Through switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles in every class, the CO2 figure has tumbled. Registrations of cars in the Mini segment almost doubled against 2012, while the Supermini segment also showed solid growth. A new car is 20% more efficient than the average car in use, so consumers will notice a real difference when replacing their old car.

Consumers also have an increasing choice when it comes to alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs), with a threefold increase in the number of plug-in models on the market in the last three years alone. Registrations of AFVs grew 17.6% to 32,731 in 2013, with 7.7% accounted for by pure-electric vehicles.

The UK is a vibrant centre for automotive R&D, and aims to strengthen this position through the joint government-industry Automotive Sector Strategy launched last year. A main focus of the Strategy is the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which will channel over £1 billion investment into the development of UK automotive into a world leader in the development of low-carbon technologies.

The full SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2014 is free to download from

View the most fuel-efficient vehicles in every class