Emissions SMMT News

Average new car CO2 emissions fall 9.3 per cent in six years

29 March 2004 #Emissions #SMMT News

The average new car sold in 2003 emitted 9.3 per cent less CO2 than models registered in 1997, according to a new SMMT report. Based on data from every new car registered last year, the figures also show a 1.2 per cent year-on-year drop from 174.2 g/km in 2002 to 172.1 g/km in 2003.

With the establishment of CO2 based tax schemes1, emissions data is now increasingly important for new car buyers. The third annual report, UK New Car Registrations by CO2 Performance, shows how the UK new car market has moved partly as a result of these changes, with growth in sales of superminis, more diesel models and growing demand for alternative fuelled vehicles.

In 2003:

  • 34.2 per cent of all newly registered cars emitted less than 151 g/km, falling within one of the lowest three VED bands, compared to 7.8 per cent in 1997.
  • Diesel models and cars in the supermini segment accounted for 27.3 and 33.9 per cent of the overall market respectively. In 1997, the figures were 16.2 and 26.5 per cent.
  • 4,266 alternative fuelled cars were registered, 49.8 per cent more than the 2,847 units reported in 2002.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, ‘Fiscal measures have certainly helped focus buyers’ attention on carbon dioxide emissions. However, as the latest SMMT data shows, market change is a gradual process. The incentives that drive the growth of cleaner vehicles must be transparent if buyers are to be confident in their decisions to buy greener, low carbon vehicles. Stability was the theme of the chancellor’s 17 March budget, with a freeze on many CO2 based motoring taxes. Our common goal of lower CO2 emissions will be realised if that theme continues in the years to come.’

For a copy of the report and the full press release, please click on the link below.


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