Emissions SMMT News

Motor industry goes green

09 May 2003 #Emissions #SMMT News

The UK motor industry is ready to meet the demand for cleaner technology and low carbon vehicles. That is the message behind today’s high level seminar organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders at Forbes House, London.

Key figures from industry and government will attend a briefing by SMMT, HM Treasury, the Department for Transport and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership on the reduction of CO2 emissions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles. They will also be given the opportunity to view the latest technology available in the drive to lower road transport emissions.

With the launch of the government’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Challenge last week and ACEA’s target for average new car emissions getting ever closer, the development of cleaner technology is becoming increasingly important. Today’s display of more than 12 low emission vehicles will show what the industry has done and where they’re heading in the future.

SMMT’s second annual report on new car registrations by CO2 performance shows:

  • New car average CO2 emissions fell to 174.2 g/CO2 per km in 2002, 8.2 per cent down on the 1997 baseline and 1.9 per cent below the 2001 average.
  • The rise of the supermini in the UK over recent years has helped to lower average CO2 emissions through the wider appeal of smaller cars.
  • Diesel fuelled cars have been a significant influence on the reduction in average CO2 emissions. Diesel models took a record 23.5 per cent share of the UK market in 2002, with demand up 38 per cent.

Commenting on the industry’s work towards cleaner technology, SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan said, ‘The industry is making tremendous progress in its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and is committed to improving the environmental performance of its products. The industry’s task is to deliver vehicles that meet a package of consumer expectations, including environmental and safety considerations. To be commercially viable we must also meet consumer expectations in terms of comfort, utility, cost and design.

‘SMMT is encouraged by the formation of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and by government efforts to deliver a more structured and co-ordinated approach to developing, demonstrating and promoting new vehicle technologies. To be successful in the long term, government must deliver a more coherent and stable framework of vehicle and fuel taxes and incentives. This should be based on objective performance criteria and be available to all qualifying technology packages promoting competition between manufacturers,’ he continued.

Notes to Editor:

  1. In 1997, diesels accounted for 16.2 per cent of the UK market. In 1998 this figure dipped to 15.3 per cent, in 1999 it was 13.8 per cent, 14.1 per cent in 2000, 17.8 per cent in 2001 and 23.5 per cent in 2002. Diesel penetration is expected to reach 29 per cent of overall sales in 2003 and 31 per cent in 2004.
  2. In 1997, Superminis accounted for 26.5 per cent of the UK market. In 1998 this figure dipped to 25.3 per cent before rising annually to 2002. In 1999 it was 27.0 per cent, 31 per cent in 2000, 31.1 per cent in 2001 and 32.4 per cent in 2002.


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