Emissions

Facts & Figures

  • What are the CO2 emissions of new cars?

    • Average new car CO2 emissions rose in 2018, up 2.9% to 124.5g/km.
    • A 2018 car has on average CO2 emissions 31.2% lower than in 2000 and 20% lower than the average car in use.
    • Industry is delivering even lower CO2 emitting products, and new models introduced in 2018 had CO2 emissions on average 8.3% lower emissions than the model they replaced.
    • The rise in 2018 reflected on-going market trends, notably consumer shift towards larger vehicles and the 29.6% drop in diesel registrations.
    • Diesels typically emit 15%-20% lower CO2 than petrol cars (with like-for-like performance).
    • The UK has some of the most callenging economy-wide CO2 reductions targets in the world, including plans to decarbonise the entire 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.
    • Key government and industry initiatives include the joint funded Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Go Ultra Low campaign.

    How do new cars impact air quality?

    • 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 and other exhaust after-treatments reducing emissions 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.
    • On-road testing for cars was introduced for new models in 2017, with Europe the first in the world to implement it.

    Check which fuel type suits your driving needs here

    How are new cars taxed?

    Each year, the Budget includes specific taxation measures for motorists. In 2001, government changed the vehicle taxation (Vehicle Excise Duty) system for cars aligning it to tailpipe CO2 emissions. This was further modified in 2009 as the limits between bands were tightened.

    You can check the tax band of your car on the Vehicle Certification Agency website: carfueldata.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/

    • Zero emission battery electric vehicles took a 0.7% share of the market, plug-in hybrids a 1.9% share and conventional hybrid electric vehicles a 3.4% share in 2018.
    • Alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) registrations continued to rise in 2018, up 20.9% to give them a 6.0% share of the market. AFVs emitted on average 45% lower CO2 than the market average.

    How are new zero emission and alternatively fuelled vehicles taxed?

    Each year, the Budget includes specific taxation measures for motorists. In 2001, government changed the vehicle taxation system aligning it to tailpipe CO2 emissions. This was further modified in 2009 as the limits between bands were tightened.

    Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) pay a reduced VED, while any vehicle (including BEVs) with a list price of £40,000 or above will incur an additional premium rate for the first 5 years.

    You can check the tax band of your car on the Vehicle Certification Agency website: carfueldata.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/

     

  • What are the CO2 emissions of new light vans?

    • Thanks to heavy investment from industry, the latest Euro 6 diesel vans on sale today are the cleanest in history and are already playing a vital part in improving air quality, as well as helping to address other environmental concerns, with average new van CO2 emissions having fallen more than 10% over the past five years.
    • There has been a progressive improvement in the environmental performance of the UK LCV parc.
    • The average new light commercial vehicle (LCV) emitted 166.9g/km in 2018, 0.9% below the 2017 level – in a significant pick up in the rate of improvement – and 15.9% down on 2011.
    • Electrification delivers a large reduction in CO2 emissions. In 2017 battery electric vans are estimated to have emitted 120g/km CO2 e – a reduction of 67% in comparison with petrol and 60% diesel engine vans respectively (based on a reduction of electricity grid emissions).
    • Although coming from a low base, from 2016 to 2017 there has been a 20.8% increase (to 6,347) in the number of lowemission vans).

    How do new vans impact air quality

    • The Euro 6 diesel standard has reduced NOx by 84% and particulate matter by 95% compared with Euro 3, highlighting the dramatic improvements delivered by manufacturer investment in new technology.

    How are new vans taxed?

    Vans (with a gross vehicle weight less than or equal to 3,500kg) are currently taxed with a flat rate of Vehicle Excise Duty. Government has recently consulted on changes to the van VED system with a view to also aligning it with CO2 emissions in the future.

    The automotive industry is supportive of this approach in principle as a method of encouraging the uptake of lower emitting vans, but the structure needs to be carefully evaluated to ensure that there are no unintended consequences, such as operating two lower emitting vans in place of one which is slightly higher emitting.