Industry Topics


Did you know it would take 50 new cars today to produce the same amount of pollutant emissions as one vehicle built in 1970? Over the same time, average new car CO2 emissions have more than halved. These achievements are ultimately down to continual investment in ever more advanced vehicle technology.

Climate change and air pollution are not problems that can be solved overnight, and there is still much work to be done. However, vehicle manufacturers are doing their bit to tackle them head on.

Industry has been working hard to drive down vehicle emissions of all types for many years. In terms of those relating to air quality, it has had to meet strict European targets for petrol and diesel cars.

All this has been achieved in line with EU regulation that sets a programme of what are called Euro Standards to lower these emissions in stages as technology develops.

  • carbon monoxide (CO),  petrol down 63%; diesel down 82% since 1993
  • hydrocarbons (HC), petrol down 50% since 2001
  • oxides of nitrogen (NOx) down 84% since 2001
  • particulate matter (PM), diesel down 96% since 1993

Meanwhile, tremendous progress has been made in cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are linked to climate change. CO2 emissions are subject to different regulations than those outlined above, and in the UK, industry has made vast strides meeting – and indeed beating – these targets.

  • In 2014, average new car CO2 fell to a record low of 124.6 g/km CO2.
  • In the past 10 years, average new car CO2 emissions have fallen by 27.3%
  • Today’s new cars are more than 20% more efficient than the average used car on the road.
  • By 2020, 95% of all new cars sold must emit on average 95g/km CO2

Modern vehicles are light years away from the polluters of the past: not only are they cleaner than ever before, but they’re also the most efficient, meaning motorists also benefit from ever lower fuel bills.

As a result of billions of pounds worth of investment, the automotive industry has made extraordinary technological progress in bringing these advanced vehicles to market – and with ever stricter emissions reduction targets now being set by the EU, the advancement continues.