Emissions

Facts & Figures

Not only does Euro 6 set the strictest NOx and PM emissions limits yet, it also requires – for the first time – on-road testing to prove new cars can deliver low emissions on the road.

    • Average New Car CO2 emissions fell in 2016 to 120.1g/km, down 1.1% on 2015’s 121.0g/km.
    • Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFV) registrations rose by 22.2% in 2016 to 88,919 units. AFVs typically emit 40% lower CO2 than the market average.
    • In 2016, the UK had the largest market in Europe of zero-emission capable cars (pure EV and plug-in hybrid) and also hybrids.
    • Although diesels achieved a record volume, their market share fell in 2016 to 47.7%. Diesels typically emit 20% lower CO2 emissions than petrol cars (with like-for-like performance), so this structural change was to the detriment of fleet CO2 performance.
    • The average new light commercial vehicle emitted 173.7g/km in 2016, 1.9% below the 2015 level and 12.4% down on 2011.
    • Total CO2 emissions from all vehicles in use fell by 4.6% between 2000 and 2015, as new vehicle efficiencies offset a 7% increase in vehicle use (for cars figures were 9% and 5% respectively). However, emissions have risen in the past two years, reflecting higher mileages.
    • A new car emits some 20% less CO2 than the average car in the parc. Measures to speed up fleet renewal would help improve CO2 emissions, as well as benefit other emissions and the safety performance of the vehicle fleet.
    • The UK has some of the most challenging economy-wide CO2 reductions targets in the world, including plans to decarbonise the vehicle fleet by 2050. Delivering such market transformation demands all stakeholders working together to achieve environmental targets in the most cost-effective way possible, and enabling the UK manufacturing industry to be best placed to deliver these lower emitting vehicles.
    • The UK government has played a significant role in supporting industry’s CO2 reduction strategies. Key initiatives include the joint funded Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Go Ultra Low campaign.


  • PEMs testing

    • It would take 50 new cars to produce the same amount of pollutant emissions as one vehicle built in 1970 (DEFRA)
    • UK NOx emissions from passenger cars have fallen 81% since 1990 – the biggest reduction of any sector. (DEFRA AQPI)
    • The latest diesel cars are the cleanest in history, with high tech filters capturing 99% of all soot particles and exhaust after-treatments, reducing emissions limits of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 84% since 2000. (Euro standards)
    • One in every three cars on UK roads is fuelled by diesel, and their drivers rely on them to travel 118 billion miles every year. On average, diesel cars cover 60% more miles than their petrol counterparts.
    • Euro 6 technology is proven to work in the real world. Tests of new Euro 6 buses using the London 159 Bus Route show a 95% drop in NOx emissions over older Euro-5 vehicles. (Transport for London)
    • On-road testing for cars was introduced for new models in 2017, with Europe the first in the world to implement it.