Emissions SMMT News

Drop in CO2 emissions from new cars is not hot air

26 April 2002 #Emissions #SMMT News

  • Average CO2 emissions from new cars

    down 6.4 per cent since 1997, from 189.8g/km in 1997 to 177.7g/km in 2001
  • Average diesel car CO2 falls 12.2 per cent in four years
  • 45 per cent of new fleet cars report CO2 output below 165g/km

A new annual report, based on the SMMT’s unique CO2

database, has revealed that average carbon dioxide emissions from new cars has

fallen again. Figures in UK New Car Registrations by CO2

reveal a 1.8 per cent drop last year, with average CO2

output down 6.4 per cent since 1997. The report provides further evidence that

the industry is on course to meet voluntary industry targets to cut average

CO2 output by a quarter by 2008.

One of the reasons for lower CO2 is

a surge in sales of ever-cleaner diesel models. In last year’s record new car

market, diesel car sales soared by 39.4 per cent to 436,591 units and the report

confirms diesel engine technology moving on apace. Average CO2

emissions from diesel models has dropped 12 per cent in four years, nearly twice

the average, from 186.7g/km in 1997 to 164g/km.

As the government looks to CO2 as the

basis of both VED and company car taxation, fleet buyers in particular are making

low CO2 emissions a top priority. More than 45 per cent

of new cars in last year’s fleet market had a CO2rating

below 165g/km, the lowest tax threshold under the new company car tax rules.

In total, cars registered to fleets averaged 175.5g/km CO2

in 2001, slightly below the overall market average of 177.7g/km.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘SMMT is the

definitive source of CO2 data, adding to our reputation

as the industry’s number one provider of new vehicle registration information.’

He added, ‘There are many important things the industry can

learn from UK New Car Registrations by CO2 Performance,

not least that it is on course to meet the voluntary targets set to reduce CO2

output by 25 per cent. This is good news for the industry, the environment and

ultimately drivers who faces taxes which are increasingly based on their car’s

carbon dioxide output.’

Notes to editors:

  1. SMMT’s CO2 database is based on figures

    supplied by manufacturers from the first registration document and are checked

    with type approval data from the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). It includes

    figures for 99.9 per cent of the record 2,458,769 new car registrations in

  2. In a groundbreaking voluntary agreement, European car manufacturers

    agreed to reduce average new car CO2 emissions across

    Europe by 25 per cent from 1995 levels to 140g/km in 2008. The Japanese Car

    Manufacturers Association (JAMA) and Korean Car Makers Association (KAMA)

    members have signed a similar agreement.
  3. The new company car tax regime came into effect in April

    2002. Company car tax is now based on the list price of a car adjusted by

    its carbon dioxide output. Cars emitting less than 165g/km CO2

    will be taxed at the lowest rate, 15 per cent of list price. Increments of

    5g/km will add one per cent to the taxable liability to a maximum 35 per cent.

    For example, a car emitting 170g/km CO2 will incur

    16 per cent tax on list price, 195g/km will incur 21 per cent. Diesel cars

    attract an additional three per cent levy. The new CO2

    based system replaces the old ‘mileage adjuster’ where company car tax was

    based on list price adjusted by the number of business miles driven in any

    one year.
  4. Copies of UK New Car Registrations by CO2

    Performance can be downloaded from www.smmt.co.uk

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