Motor industry halves energy and CO2 used to make vehicles

11 September 2006 #SMMT News

UK vehicle makers have cut energy use, waste and CO2 emissions by half, in four years.

‘We have embraced our responsibility and delivered a clear, clean message; the motor industry is willing, capable and open about being part of the solution to the issue of sustainable motoring’, said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘Our modern, high-tech motor industry should be given credit for this dramatic progress.’

From 2001 – 2005:

  • Average energy use per vehicle cut from 6.2 to 3.2 MWh / vehicle
  • Corresponding CO2 figure per vehicle down to 0.6 tonnes, from 1.3 tonnes
  • Waste to landfill per vehicle slashed 78 per cent, from 66.4 kg to 14.5 kg
  • Water use almost halved from 6.2 m3 to 3.2 m3

The figures are previewed as part of the motor industry’s seventh annual sustainability report. To be published on on Monday 18 September, the report lists sector-wide progress on economic goals, environmental performance and social responsibility measures.

As well as previewing the sustainability report, SMMT is today calling for a more sensible debate about responsible car choice and use. Carbon dioxide emissions from cars account for less than 13 per cent of man-made CO2 in Britain, compared to 36.9 per cent for the energy industry and 15.7 per cent from residential sites, according to DEFRA.

‘We have a clear responsibility to develop cleaner vehicles and technologies and we want all motorists to consider the impact of their motoring’, added Macgowan. ‘However, attacking one type of car user is dangerous, because we think it encourages complacency among others.’

‘Industry initiatives like the introduction of the new car green label, and publication of Drive Green, Drive Safely, have encouraged 30 million motorists to consider the impact of their motoring, to make informed choices and consider how and when they drive. Engaging all customers is surely the best way to deliver the greatest CO2 reductions from road transport.’

The graphs in the attached release show the split in total man-made CO2 emissions by source as well as by vehicle type. It also shows the contribution each segment of the car market makes to the total man-made CO2 emissions from 30 million cars on UK roads.


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