The average emissions level of a new car sold in 2014 was “significantly below” the 2015 EU target, according to provisional data from the European Environment Agency.
Under plans to cut emissions from transport, the EU set a target for new car emissions to be below 130 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre by 2015. The latest figures suggest that car manufacturers surpassed this target last year with average emission levels standing at 123.4 grams.
Since monitoring started under current legislation in 2010, car emissions have fallen by 12%. Car manufacturers are now working to further reduce emissions to reach the 2021 target of 95 grams.
In total 12.5 million new cars were registered in 2014 across the bloc, the first overall increases since 2007, with most EU member states experiencing an increase.
The European Environment Agency also notes that “significantly more efficient models were brought in pre-2004 EU member states compared to the newer EU member states”. The most efficient cars were bought in the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal, while the least efficient were purchased in Estonia, Latvia and Bulgaria.
The figures also highlight the growing popularity of electric vehicles. In 2014, 38,000 electric vehicles were registered across EU member states, up 57% on the previous year. Electric vehicles are proving particularly popular in France, Germany and the UK. Despite the significant increases eclectic vehicles still only represent a very small portion of all new cars, accounting for just 0.3% of 2014 registrations.
Looking ahead the European Environment Agency said that while the average target for the collective EU fleet has been met ahead of deadline, it has not yet been confirmed whether different manufacturers have met their own specific targets. The final data on individual performance will not be published until autumn. Car manufacturers could face hefty fines if they fail to meet targets.
Photo: Riley Kaminer via Flickr